AS Monaco's priority is to keep Mbappe
Teenager has scored 26 goals
Plus 15 assists
Kylian Mbappé has attracted rave reviews following a breakthrough season, but AS Monaco says it’s a “priority” to keep the in-demand teenager rather than cash in on his soaring transfer value.
Speaking to CNN Sport just hours after the small principality had sealed its first Ligue 1 title since the turn of the millennium, the club’s influential vice president and CEO Vadim Vasilyev said all “the ingredients are there” for Mbappé to stay.
“It is part of our model that some players leave but now we are financially much stronger than two years ago,” explained Vasilyev in an interview with CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies Thursday.
“With all these young players, we know that their value will never go down because they are so talented and ambitious.
“To keep Mbappé? It is our priority.”
The mercurial 18-year-old forward has directly contributed to a Monaco goal every 63 minutes in all competitions.
With 26 goals and 14 assists to his name in just 2,750 minutes, his performances have commanded the attention of every top club in Europe.
On Thursday, Marca reported Liverpool had made a $83 million written bid for Mbappé, though the teenager has no intention of leaving, according to Vasilyev.
“I think he’s very happy at Monaco,” the former Russian diplomat told CNN Sport. “There’s the World Cup next year – and he’s already in the French national team.”
Mbappé is the shining light in a new golden generation of players progressing from the club’s academy, La Turbie, with Monaco toppling big spenders Paris Saint-Germain with one of European football’s youngest starting lineups.
Monaco officials will sit down with the player and his family in the coming days and weeks to thrash out the particulars of his future.
Even so, surely an astronomical bid would persuade Monaco to let Mbappé go?
“No,” says Vasilyev, without a hint of hesitation. “We found the right sporting and financial model for our club; it will be easier for us to keep our best players.”
The ‘perfect’ coach
Mbappé is not the only Monaco asset attracting covetous glances.
Head coach Leonardo Jardim has assembled one of world football’s most exciting squads against the backdrop of financial restructuring – a fact not lost on Arsenal fans, with Arsene Wenger’s contract set to expire at the end of the season.
Since eschewing the big-spending of 2013/14, Monaco’s methods have actually yielded $87 million in net transfer profit – compared to a $192 million net transfer loss for PSG in the same period.
That hasn’t stopped the club defying its size to compete with the big boys, advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals or beyond in two of the past three seasons.
“Leonardo Jardim is the perfect coach for our project,” enthused Vasilyev. “We’ve done this together.
“I was behind him coming to Monaco. At that time he was not so well-known, and many people had doubts but I never had any doubts in him.
“This is the confirmation.”
Vasilyev has no doubt Monaco will receive “many, many offers” for the Portuguese manager, but once again adopts a tone of defiance.
“We as Monaco and me as vice president will do everything to keep him.”