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Mbappe, Bakayoko transfer saga keep Monaco hogging the limelight


After winning their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years, Monaco are in the limelight again.

Thanks to Kylian Mbappe and Tiemoue Bakayoko, two young players packing plenty of promise, Les Monegasques remain in the centre of football talks.

Mbappe, the18-year-old striker mesmerizing the sport with his superb skills, is said to be being pursued in earnest by La Liga champions Real Madrid, and English Premier League giants Arsenal and Manchester United.

On the other hand, the 22-year-old Bakayoko appears to be on his way to Stamford Bridge to play for EPL champions Chelsea.

For Mbappe, Real Madrid have reportedly dangled a juicy £117-million offer, while Arsenal have bid for £87 million.

Real boss Zinedine Zidane is a self-confessed admirer Mbappe, who made waves after keying Monaco’s Ligue 1 success as well as the team’s march to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

On his international duty last Tuesday, Mbappe helped France beat England 3-2 in a friendly at Stade de France.

There’s nothing clear yet as to where the in-form player is going.

All he has churned out to reporters when asked, notably about Real Madrid, was when he said in jest: “They have been trying to sign me since I was 14.’’

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has over £100 million to spend in the window but acquiring Mbappe, who scored 22 goals last season, remains a longshot.

As to Bakayoko, he is set to fly over to London this weekend as his move to Chelsea is almost a done deal.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte also admired the midfielder and according to him, Bakayoko would gel well with N’Golo Kante.

Bakayoko’s salary, according to reports would be near the €40-million (£35m) region.

Despite being wooed by other clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, Bakayoko is said to be determined to see action for the Blues.

With Bakayoko’s imminent entry, it is now a question what lies ahead for other Chelsea playmakers like Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic, both of whom are also being targeted by other teams.

A France international, Bakayoko made 32 appearances for Monaco last season as they eventually captured the Ligue 1 title, wounding up an impressive eight points clear of former champions Paris Saint Germain.

As it appears Bakayoko has found a new home, all eyes will now be on Mbappe.

But whether the latter stays or leaves, Monaco will remain a force to be reckoned with.