Manchester City are in advanced talks to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco in a deal which would smash the world transfer record, Goal can reveal.
Real Madrid are also in the race to sign the 18-year-old but senior City decision makers have been in contact with their Monaco counterparts over the past 24 hours and are pushing to reach a speedy resolution.
City sources close to the negotiations have been given the impression that Madrid need to sell Gareth Bale to Manchester United before they can make their interest official.
The Blues have already made a formal approach and are now awaiting a response from Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev.
The French champions have made it clear that they want mega money for Mbappe, meaning City, Madrid and any other suitors would have to pay more than £150 million.
Monaco last week threatened several clubs, including City, with a formal complaint to Fifa over alleged illegal approaches to Mbappe, but the two sides have remained in contact since concluding negotiations for left-back Benjamin Mendy over the weekend.
Though it is believed Mbappe is also open to moving to the Santiago Bernabeu, Pep Guardiola has spoken personally with the teenager in a bid to convince him to move to Manchester, and the Catalan’s employers are now trying to persuade Monaco to sell.
Madrid, who were also among the clubs warned by Monaco last week, have had to wait to make their approach until they sell off several first-team players.
Having failed to recoup a fee for James Rodriguez, who joined Bayern Munich on loan, the Champions League holders have raised over £80m in the last week by selling Alvaro Morata to Chelsea and Danilo to City.
City are under the impression that Madrid’s hopes of signing Mbappe could hinge on Bale joining United in another big-money deal.
City remain determined to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal but have been surprised by the Gunners’ determination not to sell to a Premier League rival.
The Blues had always expected the Londoners to relent, but Goal understands that over the past few days Guardiola and his staff have reluctantly discussed the possibility of waiting until next year to bring in the Chilean on a free transfer.
City are still in talks for both Alexis and Mbappe and could yet sign both before the end of the transfer window, though that would depend on a glut of player sales for big fees.