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AS Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe has reportedly decided to leave his current club during the summer transfer window, and Barcelona could be in for the youngster.
French daily L’Equipe (h/t ESPN FC’s Jonathan Johnson) reported the news late on Wednesday, adding Barcelona could be interested in the wake of Neymar’s pending transfer to Paris Saint-Germain:
Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip
Kylian Mbappe has reportedly decided that he wants to leave Monaco. #ASM https://t.co/cxuLiE8v1g
The France international has mostly been linked with rivals Real Madrid so far, and Marca‘s Carlos Carpio previously reported a deal had been agreed. Monaco quickly moved to deny the rumour, via Nice-Matin (h/t Get French Football News), but the speculation has been constant:
Get French Football @GFFN
Breaking | AS Monaco deny any agreement with Real Madrid for Kylian Mbappé, when contacted by Nice-Matin.
Barcelona would be new players in the ongoing saga, but following Wednesday’s shocking news that Neymar is on his way to France, the Catalans suddenly profile as real suitors. As reported by Ed Malyon of The Independent, the club will have an extra £200 million to spend when the move goes through, as well as a major hole in their attack.
Stylistically, Mbappe would be a great replacement. Like Neymar, he loves to drift to the left wing and take on his marker directly, cutting inside on to his right foot. He’s mostly played as a central striker so far but has the athleticism and dribbling ability to move out wide.
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Beating rivals Real to his signature would be a major win for Barcelona, something the club sorely needs following Neymar’s departure. Mbappe’s ceiling could well be higher than that of the Brazilian, and this transfer could just save Barcelona’s window.
Convincing Monaco to sell won’t be easy, however. By waiting this long to make his decision, Mbappe has given the club little time to find a suitable replacement, so they could opt to stand firm for now.