This significant update has come from L’Equipe in France, with Mbappe said to only be considering a small handful of potential clubs.
#Barcelona have met with #Mbappe over a potential move, L’Equipe reporting. Given Neymar’s transfer, it’s a deal that make sense.
— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) August 2, 2017
Real Madrid are thought to have been leading the chase for the 18-year-old for some time, while Arsenal, Manchester City and even Liverpool have been credited with interest in recent weeks and months. But it increasingly looks as though the youngster’s final decision will be between Los Blancos and Barcelona, who will be fresh from a €222m windfall after selling Neymar.
It was recently claimed by reports in Spain that Real had ‘agreed’ a deal with Monaco worth €180m, but the latest round of gossip suggests Barça are now very much on the scene.
There was even a rumour originating from Madrid-based El Pais last month that Real president Florentino Perez feared that Mbappe actually had a deal in place with Barça.
Despite Mbappe’s apparent desire to join Real – the player is believed to have previously turned them down at the age of 14 because he felt he was too young to leave home – at face value, a summer switch to Camp Nou looks like a better bet in light of Neymar’s soon-to-be finalised exit.
Assurances over consistent playing time have always been crucial for Mbappe. He has made it clear he wouldn’t want to move to sit on the bench and there remains an element of doubt in Madrid because of the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.
In Catalunya, Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain crucially leaves a readymade hole to be filled and a move there seems less complicated. The cash from the sale will also give Barça the means to pay Monaco’s asking price, which they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford.
@SiqueRodriguez: “El Barça ha preguntado por Mbappé, pero creo que se irá al Real Madrid. El golpe de efecto es Dybala”
— El Larguero (@ellarguero) August 2, 2017
Yet speaking El Larguero on Cadena Ser, Spanish journalist Sique Rodriguez explained that while Barcelona have ‘asked’ for Mbappe, he believes the player will still end up with Real in the capital, leaving Barça to instead focus on prising Paulo Dybala away from Juventus.