Arsenal ponder mammoth £122m bid for Kylian Mbappe
Gunners land Sead Kolasinac, but have much bigger fish to fry - all the latest Arsenal transfer news and gossip
As Arsenal unveiled their first signing of the summer in Bosnian defender Sead Kolasinac, it was also reported that the Gunners have not given up on signing Monaco star Kylian Mbappe.
According to The Sun, Arsene Wenger has promised the 18-year-old "the number nine shirt if he joins the Gunners" and reports in the French media claim that the Arsenal manager is in Monaco to prepare a "monster move for the 18-year-old".
That move would entail tabling a world record bid of £122m for Mbappe, smashing the £89m that Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last year and dwarfing Arsenal's existing transfer fee record of £42m for Mesut Ozil.
Wenger's urgency to seal a deal for Mbappe stems from reports earlier in the week suggesting Real Madrid were preparing a £100m bid of their own but it's believed the Arsenal boss will meet with the youngster in person and try to persuade him to move to north London.
In addition, the Daily Mirror says that Wenger hopes his relationship with Monaco - where he was manager in the 1980s - "could play a role" in negotiations with the French side
But Real Madrid will be formidable opponents in the fight for Mbappe's signature, says The Independent.
The Spanish club will "fully focus" on Mbappe as "their major attacking signing this summer, having cooled their interest in Chelsea's Eden Hazard after the Belgian captain was ruled out for three months with an ankle injury", says the paper.
Not only do the European champions have more cachet that Arsenal, they also have more funds and could sell Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez and even Gareth Bale to raise money for the deal if a bidding war breaks out.
However, Real Madrid are not the only other suitors for Mbappe. "Manchester United are also contenders for his signature as they look to boost their attacking options in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who's doubtful to return to Old Trafford," reports the Daily Star.