Monaco mud­dies Madrid’s Mbappe move

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

MONACO — No deal has been reached be­tween Monaco and Real Madrid over the sale of the French cham­pion’s teenage sen­sa­tion Kylian Mbappe, the prin­ci­pal­ity club said on Wed­nes­day.

Monaco vice-pres­i­dent Vadim Vasi­lyev also told a media con­fer­ence his club was in dis­cus­sions with Mbappe over a con­tract ex­ten­sion.

The 18-year-old France in­ter­na­tional has been the sub­ject of in­tense trans­fer spec­u­la­tion link­ing him with a world-record $210 mil­lion move, with Span­ish sports daily Marca re­port­ing on Tues­day that a fee had been agreed be­tween the clubs.

“I have read a lot of things in the press,” said Vasi­lyev.

“So far we have not signed any agree­ments with Real or any other club. All big clubs want him, he’s the great hope of Euro­pean soc­cer.

“We are in dis­cus­sions over a con­tract ex­ten­sion with Kylian and we hope to reach an agree­ment.”

When pushed fur­ther on whether Mbappe, whose cur­rent con­tract runs un­til 2019, would leave or sign a new deal, the Russian said: “No, he should not go. Why should he? He is a player that ev­ery­one will want, even if he has a year left, ev­ery­one will be on him.”

Mbappe burst onto the scene last sea­son as he helped Leonardo Jardim’s side claim its first Ligue 1 ti­tle since 2000 and reach the Cham­pi­ons League semi­fi­nals.

He scored 15 league goals and six in as many Cham­pi­ons League starts.

The speedy for­ward has also been strongly linked with Manch­ester City and Arse­nal, but re­ports had sug­gested Real was at the top of the queue and on the brink of sign­ing Mbappe, who is a grad­u­ate of the es­teemed Claire­fontaine academy near Paris.

Vasi­lyev, though, in­sisted Mbappe needs to be given time to make a de­ci­sion of that mag­ni­tude at such a young age.

“There is too much media pres­sure around him,” said the Russian. “It’s not easy for him, but he han­dles it well. We want to take the time to chat qui­etly with the player and his fam­ily.

“You have to give him time, not rush things too fast.”

Mbappe has been wooed so hard by Europe’s elite that Monaco threat­ened to report the cir­cling preda­tors to FIFA, world soc­cer’s gov­ern­ing body.

“Top Euro­pean foot­ball clubs made con­tact with Kylian Mbappe and his en­tourage with­out our au­tho­riza­tion,” Monaco said on its web­site on Tues­day.

Also re­port­edly close to a world-record switch is Brazil­ian su­per­star Ney­mar, with Paris St. Ger­main hop­ing to seal his cap­ture from Barcelona for $258 mil­lion.

“I think it would be a good thing if Ney­mar played in Ligue 1, it would be great for France,” Vasi­lyev said.

Monaco’s Por­tuguese coach Jardim has al­ready lost sever- al key play­ers that helped his young side to its amaz­ing suc­cesses last sea­son.

Por­tuguese at­tack­ing mid­fielder Bernardo Silva left for Manch­ester City, be­fore be­ing fol­lowed to Etihad Stadium by full­back Ben­jamin Mendy, as he be­came the most ex­pen­sive de­fender of all time for $67 mil­lion.

De­fen­sive mid­fielder Tiemoue Bakayoko also moved to the Premier League to join cham­pion Chelsea, while for­ward Valere Ger­main was snapped up by Mar­seille.

Monaco un­veiled its own new sum­mer re­cruits on Wed­nes­day. They in­clude vet­eran for­mer Switzer­land goal­keeper Diego Be­naglio, who ar­rived from Wolfs­burg, and 20-year-old Bel­gium in­ter­na­tional mid­fielder Youri Tiele­mans, who was signed from An­der­lecht.

Vasi­lyev said Monaco would con­tinue its pol­icy of look­ing to youth to pro­vide suc­cess.

“We will not change our goals,” he said.

“We are talk­ing about pro­gres­sion and mov­ing for­wards, but al­ways in the eco­nomic in­ter­est of the club, I hope we can do that.”

Kylian Mbappe

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