Kylian Mbappe Lottin has taken the world by storm this season, bagging 26 goals in 44 games for Monaco in what is only his second season as a professional footballer. The French forward has broken record after record and is now being chased by all of Europe’s elite clubs, but what does the future hold for Monaco’s boy wonder?
Having made his debut with the club at only 16 years 347 days old, Mbappe was an instant record breaker as he eclipsed Thierry Henry to become Monaco’s youngest ever first team player. He was written into the history books at the expense of Henry once again barely three months later, when he became the youngest first team goalscorer in the club’s history. A little over a fortnight later, he signed his first professional deal.
A little under 15 months down the line, Mbappe has become the most sought after talent in all of Europe. He lead the line as Monaco won their first Ligue 1 trophy in 17 years, made the final of the Coupe De La Ligue and the semi-final of the Champions League. He’s been branded the most exciting teenager in world football, drawn comparisons with the aforementioned Thierry Henry, and already earned himself three senior caps with the French team – all before his 19th birthday.
Mbappe is still tied to Monaco only on his initial pro contract, which runs until 2019. There’s no doubt that alongside the resurgent Radamel Falcao he can continue to bring success to the French giants. Nevertheless, with only two years left to run on his current deal, Monaco are facing a battle to retain his services.
The French champions are working hard to ensure arguably the most talented prodigy in their history remains at the club. Though despite talk of a new deal, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool have all reportedly made contact with the youngsters representatives. Monaco are believed to have slapped an astronomical price tag of £130million on Mbappe, though that has hardly deterred interest.
Arsene Wenger has been searching for the next Thierry Henry ever since he found the first, and though his move has been backed by current Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he could well see his move denied due to a lack of European football this season.
According to Spanish paper AS, Real Madrid plan to move for Mbappe within 24 hours of offloading Alvaro Morata to Manchester United, and will sweeten the deal by allowing him to stay with Monaco for a further year on loan from the Galacticos. There are some suggestions in the Spanish press, however, that the club would have to show Gareth Bale the door in order to sign the Monaco striker.
Manchester United had a bid in excess of £70million denied earlier in the window, with Mbappe himself claiming their playing style would not suit him. Furthermore, their acquisition of Morata would surely spell the end of their search for another striker.
Though Liverpool are always tipped for big signings, the Reds are reportedly locked in negotiations with Roma over the transfer of Mohammed Salah – the stumbling block reported to be the transfer fee, by which the two clubs are split by about £5million – and the idea of Liverpool smashing their own, let alone the world record is enough to be chuckled at. Nevertheless, if reports are to be believed, Jurgen Klopp can offer immediate first team football, the Champions League, something of a competitive salary and the chance to become another legend in the club’s extensive history.
Though the future is unclear at this moment, there’s no doubt that Mbappe has a bright career ahead of him. Whether his next move comes now, or after the 2018 World Cup as he had suggested some time ago, he heads up a new generation of French stars which – alongside the likes of established, but still developing Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann – could go down as one of the most talented national teams in history.
Featured image curtesy of Calciomercato Italia via Flicker.