Have Real Madrid signed Kylian Mbappe for £160m?
Spanish press say the Monaco sensation is now one of Los Galacticos
Real Madrid could be about to smash the world record transfer fee by signing Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe for £160m, according to reports in Spain.
The teenage striker has been at the centre of much transfer speculation this summer, with claims he is being courted by the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Now, Spanish paper Marca says he has reached a deal with Real Madrid. It claims the sale of Alvaro Morata to Chelsea has paved the way for the move, as it means Mbappe will get more game time at the Bernabeu.
Los Galacticos' earlier attempts to sign the striker were rejected by the players' camp, who believed it "would be completely counter-productive for a player of his age in a World Cup year", says the Daily Mail.
But, it adds, "Real Madrid have since sold Alvaro Morata to Chelsea and sent James Rodriguez on a two-year loan to Bayern Munich and the youngster's close circle now believe he will be able to develop in the right way with the Spanish giants".
The giant fee would not be beyond the capabilities of Real Madrid, who have raised more than €100m in sales after offloading the likes of Morata, Danilo and James Rodriguez, says The Guardian.
"If the deal is finalised, it would mean that Monaco, who reached last year's Champions League semi-final and won the French title, have made more than £300m in transfers," adds the paper. "Among the 13 players who have already departed are Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy who joined City for £43.6m and £52m respectively, and Tiemoue Bakayoko, who cost Chelsea £39.7m."
However, the deal is by no means confirmed. Sky Sports reports that Monaco have denied agreeing a transfer fee for the player. The claims also come days after Monaco threatened to report several clubs to Fifa over their attempts to lure Mbappe away.
Marca's report contains little new information, but it has been claiming all summer that a deal for Mbappe was on the cards and has constantly stressed how much Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane likes the player.
Marca has a close association with Real Madrid - in 2008, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson accused the Spanish club of using the paper to "unsettle" players.
Last weekm, there was uproar over reports that Paris Saint Germain were close to a world record deal for Barcelona star Neymar, which could be traced back to stories in the Spanish football press.
So far neither deal has been confirmed.