Kylian Mbappe tells PSG he wants to leave - but should he go to Liverpool or Man Utd?
Kylian Mbappe is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain next summer and the Frenchman has been linked with a move to both Manchester United and Liverpool. But how likely is a move to the Premier League? Who could afford him and where would he fit in?
The 21-year-old is one of the best players in the world. In 2018, he became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele and is now rated as one of the most valuable players in football.
But how likely is a move to either club? Where would he fit in and can they afford him?
Liverpool are the Premier League champions and until a few weeks ago were the reigning European champions. They are one of the most exciting teams in Europe with one of the very best managers, and this has not gone unnoticed by Mbappe.
"What Liverpool do in this moment is amazing," Mbappe said earlier this year.
"When you watch you think everything's easy, but that's not easy. They guys are focused, they play games every three days and they win, they win, they win."
So, Mbappe's a fan.
But where would he fit in? Liverpool's ongoing success has been largely down to their electric frontline of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
Real ready to pounce after shock Mbappe revelation - Euro Papers
The trio show no signs of slowing, but if Klopp has Liverpool's long-term success in mind then he'd be amiss to pass up the chance to bring in Mbappe.
All three will have turned 29 by next summer. While Klopp could feasibly squeeze two or perhaps even three more years out of them, Mbappe - who turns 22 in December - has a decade left on the clock and is already playing football at the highest level.
Klopp may consider breaking up his holy trinity for the chance to bring in the Frenchman.
As for Mbappe, Klopp's winger-focused offensive style would fit him perfectly. A dream move for the youngster?
They've not yet kicked a ball this season but there are signs that Manchester United are returning to the highest level.
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January revitalised a team lacking creativity since the Sir Alex Ferguson days. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the board and dressing room on his side, and by all accounts has landed a fine player this summer in Donny van de Beek.
Bruno Fernandes celebrates scoring in extra-time for Manchester United
Image credit: Getty Images
They're a Champions League team again, and despite seven years of struggle remain one of the biggest clubs in the world.
What's more, there's nobody standing in his way. Mbappe would stroll into the United front three without the need to displace any superstars as at Anfield.
If United have a good season, qualify for the Champions League and perhaps take some silverware, then Solskjaer may fancy his chances in convincing Mbappe to be a part of his project.
Few clubs could rival a frontline of Mbappe, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, perhaps not even Liverpool.
And that's not the only reason United may have the edge.
The £165m PSG paid AS Monaco for the winger in 2018 remains the second-highest transfer fee ever paid. And while Mbappe's contract has two years left - and PSG will be keen to cash in on him next summer rather than let him go for free in two years - they're unlikely to let him go for anything less than they paid for him.
Manchester United wield the greater financial strength than Liverpool. The Old Trafford side have spent big money in the past decade and rarely, if ever, on players with as much quality as Mbappe.
But they are yet to break the £100m mark.
Questions remain whether Solskjaer will seal a deal for Jadon Sancho this summer. Borussia Dortmund are holding firm on their £108m asking price, but United look reluctant to pay over the odds for the Englishman. However, it's not a question over whether they can afford it, it's whether Sancho is worth it.
Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund during a training session as part of the training camp on August 10, 2020 in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland.
Image credit: Getty Images
Now, with Mbappe available next summer, will Solskjaer be tempted to pull out of negotiations altogether and put money aside for the World Cup winner next year?
Liverpool, on the other hand, would be less capable of splashing out over £150m on any player, Mbappe or not.
But such a move could be financed by the sale of either Mane or Salah, either of whom could still warrant a £100m+ transfer fee themselves.
Liverpool are in a purple patch in their club's history. A first league title in 30 years, Champions League contenders with a world class manager at the helm. And, Mbappe is outspoken in his admiration for the Anfield side.
They surely have the edge.
But an emerging Manchester United with big financial muscle may have something to say about that. And another good year could surely tempt Mbappe to Old Trafford with the absolute promise of walking into the first team.
Either way, the news that Mbappe wants to leave France means next summer's transfer window has already become very interesting.