La Liga giants Barcelona were unsuccessful in their efforts to get AS Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe to sign for them in the summer
According to a report in Don Balon, the Catalan giants had held talks with Mbappe in order to try and convince him that Barcelona ought to be his destination of choice in the summer. However, it was of no use as the 18-year-old has his heart set on a move to arch rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona are just one of the clubs said to be interested in the young Frenchman, after his impressive performances as a part of Leonardo Jardim’s young AS Monaco side have helped set the Champions League and the French top flight alight.
The reigning La Liga champions have a lack of depth in their squad, specifically upfront. Barcelona lack the top class quality they need in their squad, who could fill in for Messi, Neymar and Suarez in the event of a long term injury, or suspension.
Paco Alcacer, who was supposed to reduce the goal scoring burden on Luis Suarez hasn’t been able to have the kind of impact in the squad that the Blaugrana would have hoped, when they signed him from Valencia in the summer for a reported €30 million.
There aren’t many players in the world who could step up for Barcelona and have the same kind of impact and influence that the MSN do, but the Catalan giants probably see Mbappe as the best long term replacement for a 30-year-old Luis Suarez, and with good reason.
With 24 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions this season, Mbappe has courted interest from the likes of Chelsea, Juventus, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and even Manchester United, who reportedly had a bid of €110 million for the striker, rejected in March.
His 14 goals in 26 Ligue 1 appearances this term have helped Les Monégasques surge to the summit of the French top flight, ahead of reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain. with 86 to their name, They are currently 3 points of ahead of PSG, with a game in hand.
Most recently, Arsenal had reportedly offered to play the striker as their first choice number 9, should he reject Real Madrid’s approach. It is yet to be seen whether that persuades the striker to change his decision and move to the Emirates in the summer.
With Mbappe already having agreed to move to the Spanish Capital in the summer to play under Zinedine Zidane, it looks like Barcelona have already lost the race for his signature and it seems unlikely that they will be able to dissuade him from switching the Stade Louis II for the Santiago Bernabeu.
Besides that, the 18-year-old is said to cost around €100 million, something that the Catalan giants may not be able to afford. With Lionel Messi yet to agree to a new contract, issues to address in midfield and defence and the urgent need to decide on a new manager, this may not be the best time for Barcelona to splurge huge amounts on an 18-year-old striker.