France has become the focal point of this summer's major transfer news. In Paris they are going all out to conclude 'Operation Neymar' while almost 700km south, AS Monaco are counting the millions already made, and contemplating even more.
Mbappé to double Monaco income
The club from the independent city-state, current Ligue 1 champions, has seen 150 million euros drop into its coffers before we reach the month of August with the sales of Mendy and Bernardo Silva (both to Manchester City) and Bakayoko (Chelsea). Now, despite comments from club vice-president Vadim Vasilyev that the doors are now firmly closed, the club are expecting to more than double that income with one more sale, that of their young star, Kylian Mbappé.
As Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and Manchester City vie for his attention - even Barcelona have been thrown into the conversation on the back of a potential Neymar-sized void needing to be filled - and this interest has allowed Monaco to squeeze every penny out of the move. According to French paper L'Équippe on Friday, Vasilyev has re-opened the exit door for the French striker, but only for an exorbitant fee: 200 million euros.
En une de L'Équipe ce vendredi : Le vrai prix de Mbappé, Valère Germain, Metella et le retour de la Ligue 2 ! pic.twitter.com/PY4aQCedlv— L'ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) 27 de julio de 2017
Monaco money, but trophies?
If this operation is indeed completed in the coming weeks, Monaco will have brought in around 350 million euros in one transfer window. Great for the finances, but supporters of the club are asking about what they can then expect on the field of play. Will another French league title be a distant dream, and what about improving on a Champions League semi-final?
As things stand, Pep Guardiola's big-spending Manchester City is the club closest to getting their hands on Mbappé, as they have an offer of 160 million euros on the table, but the Monaco hierarchy is in no hurry to shake hands just yet knowing that another club is likely to match or better that amount very soon. They will sit back and watch the auction play out.