A few hours ago, reports in Spain claimed Liverpool had lodged a €75M bid for Monaco’s teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, moving quickly in an attempt to beat Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester United to the signing of the 18-year-old French international with 26 goals and 14 assists in 43 appearances this season.
The story, put forward by Madrid mouthpiece Marca claimed Monaco had already rebuffed the approach and planned on holding out for a fee nearer £100M for Mbappe. It also led to a spike in excitement—and an equal spike in skepticism—amongst Liverpool fans and was soon followed up on by the club’s paper of record.
The result of that follow-up by The Liverpool Echo won’t surprise anyone: Liverpool haven’t made a big for Mbappe. However, what might be more interesting than the denial of the Marca story was the way The Echo framed it: they added some very teasing words like “yet” and “formal” that will only fuel the speculation.
As the story now goes, a story that will be based on information shared by sources at the club, Liverpool “have not yet made any formal bid” for Mbappe. Which leaves the window cracked open for an informal approach to have already been made or for a formal bid to currently be in the works. Talk about a teasing bit of framing.
So, should Liverpool fans expect a formal bid in the coming weeks based on an informal approach that has already taken place? One would assume not, especially given his purchase would use up the entirety of Liverpool’s proposed summer transfer budget, an expected record in the £80-100M net region.
Liverpool will try to make a handful of major moves, including for Southampton centre half Virgil van Dijk and midfielder Naby Keita, but in a world where they make transfers like that—deals more important to their future success than Mbappe’s signing would be—there is simply no room to spend on the French striker.
Still, “yet” and “formal” are teasing words, and Liverpool fans could be forgiven for idly daydreaming about a path to the club signing Mbappe along with van Dijk and Keita and a few others for good measure. At least until Real Madrid go and sign him like pretty much everyone expects.