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Arsene Wenger directly 'phones Kylian Mbappe' to discuss Arsenal transfer and his entire career plans

Real Madrid want the Frenchman but he is wary of moving to such a big club so early in his career

Jack Austin
Friday 23 June 2017 09:05 BST
Summer transfer window: Likely deals and biggest rumours

Arsene Wenger has spoken directly to Kylian Mbappe over the phone about a potential move to Arsenal this summer.

Wenger and Mbappe spoke one-on-one about the teenager joining the Gunners from Monaco this summer in a world-record move which is likely to cost around £118m.

According to L’Equipe, “very little detail” about what was talked about during the phone call has been leaked, but it is understood that, as well as talking about a move to the Emirates, the pair also discussed Mbappe’s entire career plan, with Wenger giving his view on how he should manage his future.

This report comes days after a similar report in Le Parisian claimed he sees the Gunners as a stepping stone in his career, rather than his long-term future, with his main aim being signing for either Barcelona or Real Madrid before he turns 22.

However, while Mbappe is open to the idea of joining Arsenal to develop his game further, similar to what Wenger did for the 18-year-old’s idol Thierry Henry, his representatives remain unsure about Arsenal because of their non-participation in next season’s Champions League.

Given that the Monaco forward only sees the move as a “stepping-stone” would be a big risk for Arsenal who would expect to get a significant increase on their investment once he moved on from the Gunners.

They would also have to provide substantial wages to compete with offers from the likes of Real Madrid, which is another stumbling block.

Arsenal’s attempts to tie Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to lucrative new contracts could force the club into a wide-ranging sell-off of players this summer.

Arsenal are wary of the Premier League’s cost control measures that restrict how much a wage bill can increase year on year. If Arsenal’s 2017-18 wage bill is more than £7m higher than it was last year, as it would be if Ozil and Sanchez signed, they would have to make up the excess through extra external revenue, most likely player sales.

Mbappe’s contract on top of this could result in one of the Gunners’ star men not being offered a new contract, or a high number of first-team players being sold instead.

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