The 18-year-old Monaco star Kylian Mbappe is properly on the market today after informing friends and teammates that he has changed his mind and wishes to leave Monaco this summer, and French reports suggest Liverpool aren’t entirely out of the running for the €180 striker.
This news, Mbappe’s decision to leave the club after previously telling Monaco he would stay, is said to be due to him feeling as though the club have gone back on their promises to him not only to hold on to some of their other stars but to strengthen the side.
That hasn’t happened. Instead, Monaco have followed up last season’s Ligue 1 triumph by selling off key players. And so Mbappe, feeling like the club have already given up on retaining the domestic crown and making a deep run in the Champions League, wants out.
Liverpool, to be clear, will not be favourites. It’s probably safe to say they won’t get Mbappe, even if Jürgen Klopp has been in contact with the player and the player is said to have not entirely ruled out a move to Merseyside this summer. That’s simply the reality.
His decision to leave could still have a knock-on effect for the club, though. It could make it easier to hold on to Philippe Coutinho given Barcelona began to court Mbappe once it became clear Neymar was leaving—and Mbappe would leave them precious little room for another £100M-plus signing.
By many accounts, they could even end up co-favourites, doing battle with domestic rivals Real Madrid for the Monaco youngster. Even if they don’t get him, if Mbappe becomes their top attacking target it will mean the likes of Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, and Paulo Dybala would move to the back-burner.
Not that Liverpool are especially worried about losing Coutinho this summer—they’re confident, having watched first-hand as clubs like Southampton and RB Leipzig resist immense pressure to sell their stars, that they can at least hold on to Coutinho for another season.
When it comes to Coutinho, Barcelona have left it far, far too late in a summer that has seen a surge in club power, especially when the player himself has shown know sign that he would go to extreme lengths in order to force through a move.
Still, even if it’s no more than an annoyance, Barcelona putting all their efforts into beating Madrid to the €180M-rated young French star could make the final month of the transfer window a little easier to survive for Liverpool and the club’s always nervous fans.