KYLIAN MBAPPE will spark a £400 MILLION battle between the Manchester giants, Liverpool and Real Madrid.
The French superstar, 21, is understood to have given Paris Saint-Germain notice that he intends to leave at the end of this season.
With two years left on his contract by then, PSG will expect to get £300m for him should they chose not to stand in the way.
Mbappe is already on £15m a year and will expect to see that huge salary rise by another £5m when he moves.
Any club that plans to sign him will want his signature on a five-year deal.
That will mean a total of £100m in wages plus almost double the £165m PSG paid Monaco for him in 2018.
City, United and Real will not baulk at such a staggering outlay, although Liverpool’s owners FSG will blink.
The Premier League champions may have spent £310m on a collection of stars between 2017 and 2018.
But over the last 12 months the American owners have brought in players worth just over £20m and over the same time scale have made a net profit on deals of £32m.
Going for Mbappe would require the sale of one of their Fab three of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
Senegalese frontman Mane would be the most likely to go if he asked for a move and has so far ignored Liverpool’s effort to get him to extend his stay for two years beyond 2023.
Real would love to have him – as they would Mbappe – and he would command a fee of £150m.
City came close to landing world No 1 Lionel Messi before he withdrew plans to leave Barcelona last month.
They were prepared to pay him £600,000 a week and with their unlimited resources would see Mbappe as another way of elevating their standing in world football.
Like them United would believe that no matter the outlay, Mbappe’s presence would only increase their global pull and had bucket – loads of more corporate cash.
What is in Liverpool’s favour is Mbappe’s connection with boss Jurgen Klopp.
The Anfield boss spent several hours trying to convince him to sign for Liverpool before he opted for PSG.
The German said: “I love him, to be honest. What a player, what a player – he is and a nice lad as well, so he’s a really good kid.”
Mbappe, who is understood to have been “charmed” by Klopp, declared Liverpool as a “machine” in May as they powered their way to the club’s first top flight title in 30 years.
Yet it is understood he also likes the idea of playing at Old Trafford.
Pep Guardiola, having lost out on Messi, will be certain to want to have a conversation with him – as will Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu.
Real believe they had signed him before his switch to PSG and are certain to be jostling in the queue this time around.
But this time alongside a trio of heavy-hitting English clubs with the only thing likely to affect such a potential huge spend to get him to the Premier League how deep the coronavirus pandemic bites into their finances.
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