While the world waits expectantly over Brazilian forward Neymar’s world-record £198million move from Barcelona to PSG to be complete, the Catalan giants are reportedly already lining up replacements.
One of those linked with a move to Catalonia is Monaco’s teenage star Kylian Mbappe. The 18-year-old burst onto the scene last season in sensational fashion. Reports from France suggest that the striker has now told the French champions he wants to leave.
Ironically, the favourites to sign the forward this summer were Barcelona’s bitter-rivals Real Madrid.
However, with the kind of money received from Neymar’s sale, Barcelona could well now leap ahead of their rivals in the race for the youngster.
A superstar in the making
The press often talks up young players. However, occasionally a young player comes along that seems to possess special qualities that lead them to become superstars. The likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and of course Neymar all had something special about them as young players.
Mbappe has made a similar sort of impact on the game at a young age. Last season was his first full campaign in the Monaco team. The striker scored 26 goals and produced eight assists in 44 appearances in all competitions for the French champions.
That sort of scoring record for a player of such a young age is highly impressive, even if the majority of his goals came in Ligue One against some questionable opposition.
His performances last season led to interest from Real Madrid, who reportedly was prepared to pay a world-record fee for the star. Obviously, he is unlikely to go for a world-record fee now, but he will be costly to whoever signs him.
Barcelona needed to change
Although losing Neymar is not exactly a positive, maybe it is what the team needed. At times during the past few seasons, the Catalan giants have relied far too much on the MSN. The exit of Neymar may see new boss Ernesto Valverde shape a new side.
Barcelona looked stale and complacent last season. A part of that may have been down to some tension between two of the team’s star players, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Neymar has reportedly been unhappy at spending the majority of his time at Barcelona in the shadow of Messi. However, what did the forward expect when he moved to Barcelona?
Messi is quite simply one of the greatest footballers ever and everybody at the Catalan club is in his shadow, no matter how big your ego or ability.
A right Clasico battle
Barcelona still has to do battle with rivals Real Madrid for the youngster. It could get very interesting, as Real have also been busy selling the likes of Alvaro Morata and Danilo to English clubs to raise funds to make new signings this summer.
There is no indication yet as to which club Mbappe favours, as the news that the striker wants to leave has only broken relatively recently.
Kylian Mbappe seems to be a young man with a good temperament, though. If he did, in fact, move to Barcelona, he would need it. The expectations are high in Catalonia, with Barcelona odds of 10/11 to win La Liga next season.
Mbappe is one of the most promising young players in the world. Signing him ahead of rivals Real Madrid at a young age would be a major coup for Barcelona. He could well develop into a very special player in the future.
The margins have been fine in recent years between the two Spanish giants. A signing like Mbappe could just well tip the balance back in the favour of the Catalan giants in the fight for La Liga supremacy over the next few years.
Will Kylian Mbappe join Barcelona this summer?
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