It was bound to happen, and now it has: Manchester United are being reported as leading the race for AS Monaco’s Kylian Mbappé.
Unsurprisingly, it’s Le10 Sport who get the ball rolling, and they aren’t holding back, throwing nearly everything that’s going on at both clubs in there to make it relevant.
While there is no doubt José Mourinho has written the 18-year-old’s name somewhere in the corner of a page in one of his many notepads, that he would consider the youngster as the replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic were the Swede to leave for LA Galaxy makes little sense.
A 19-year-old Rashford and an 18-year-old Kylian Mbappé as the two main strikers at Old Trafford next season? This isn’t Football Manager!
That is, however, what Le10 are going with on Tuesday, and claim that Manchester United have made the Monaco starlet one of their ‘big priorities’ for next season, with the club ‘taking the first step’ and contacting the Ligue 1 side to let them know of their interest and find out how much they are asking for him.
The Premier League side are apparently looking to start negotiations in the coming weeks, which Monaco aren’t exactly interested in, considering their main objective is to tie Mbappé down with a new contract.
However, Le10 state that were an offer of €100m or more land on their desk for the player, Monaco would consider it.
Let’s hit pause, and be logical and reasonable here: of course, they’re going to ‘consider it’.
After all, €100m+ is a new world record transfer, and while Manchester United have already broken that once to sign Paul Pogba, and could come close to it again if they sign Antoine Griezmann, it makes very little sense for them to prematurely get that excited about a very talented youngster when what they would need, in this scenario, is someone to replace a very experienced striker.
Mbappé is not, and really shouldn’t be, that ‘someone’.
We might be very wrong here, and José Mourinho/Ed Woodward could go all in for Mbappé in the summer, but we just don’t see it.
They did it once with Anthony Martial, and while that worked under Louis Van Gaal last season, the Frenchman’s sophomore campaign hasn’t exactly been breathtaking.
Everyone witnessed the impact the more experienced additions in Zlatan Ibrahimovic (35) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (28) have had on the team this year.
That is what this Manchester United side need to get back to their previous heights: genuine quality.
Not a team full of 19-year-olds who may or may not live up to their potential.