Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev has expressed his confidence in keeping hold of Arsenal target Kylian Mbappe despite the constant speculation over his future.
The France international has attracted interest from nearly every elite club in Europe, and this has increased his alleged asking price from £100m to somewhere around £161.2m.
Despite this, he won’t command a world-record fee this summer after Paris Saint-Germain coughed up a massive £200m in order to sign Barcelona’s Neymar this month.
Mbappe featured in Monaco’s comeback 3-2 win over Toulouse in the Ligue 1 opener on Friday, and shortly after, Vasilyev insisted that the Mbappe could only leave due to sporting reasons.
“Mbappe is going to make the right decision. He never expressed his desire to leave. We are still in talks with him. Contrary to what I saw in the press, it is not simply a matter of money, it’s more complicated than that. The player needs to move in the sports project," he said h/t AS.
“I would like him to follow. This desire is reflected currently in the sport project, it’s perfectly normal. If you ask me, of course, I’d like him to stay. We must make the right decision. Of time, that is all. It is necessary that both parties are in agreement. Not only on the part of the club."
With the staggering amount mentioned in the media, it would not be a surprise if Mbappe does leave this summer, but such a fee would surely put Arsenal out of the race with Arsene Wenger recently deeming Neymar’s transfer as ‘irrational‘.
Mbappe, 18, enjoyed his breakout campaign with the Principality club last season where he notched 26 goals across all competitions under Leonardo Jardim. Though his tally may not look extraordinary in a less competitive league, the youngster hardly got a run in the starting lineup until February where he started to showcase his full set of skills.
The Frenchman suffered a grim knee injury in the second period of Monaco’s opening league game, but Jardim has assured the player is not serious, and it is a matter of days before he gets back to first-team duties.