In Brief

Arsenal transfer news: Wenger key to Kylian Mbappe deal

Gunners boss has his critics but could be the trump card in race to sign Monaco star - latest Arsenal transfer gossip

Was handing Arsene Wenger a new two-year deal all part of a cunning plan by the Arsenal board to get their hands on Kylian Mbappe?

Rumours about the 18-year-old's future refuse to die and according to the Daily Express the teenage prodigy, the most promising player in European football, is desperate for a chance to work under the Gunners boss.

The Monaco magician has been linked with several clubs in recent months, including Arsenal, and French tabloid Le Parisien says a source close to Mbappe has indicated the presence of Wenger at the Emirates could prove decisive in the coming weeks as his considers his future.

"If Kylian signs tomorrow for Arsenal, it will be down to him," the source explained. "He has the experience of shaping young talent, especially former France strikers like Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka." And in a further boost for Arsenal fans, facing their first season outside the Champions League for a generation, the mystery source told Le Parisien that "the Europa League is not an obstacle in itself".

Real Madrid and PSG are also interested in Mbappe but Wenger, who was recently spotted in Monaco, is believed to be ready to exploit his standing with the teenager to bring him to north London.

But while the Gunners are keen to land a big fish, a smaller one has got away after the agent of Juan Cuadrado rubbished suggestions that the Colombia star wants to quit Juventus for Arsenal.

The former Chelsea winger has spent the last 18 months on loan in Turin with Juventus, and the Italian champions reportedly signed him permanently earlier this month. But rumours then emerged to the effect that Juve intended to sell the South American for around £26m to the Gunners in order to make a massive profit.

Not so, according to Metro, which quotes agent Alessandro Lucci saying: "Juan doesn't want to leave Juve and Juve don't plan to sell him, so all these supposed negotiations have no real basis. That Cuadrado might interest other clubs, I don't doubt it, but no-one has contacted me directly or started negotiations with Juve."

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