Mbappe not out of Arsenal's price range - Pires

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The Frenchman says he has ambitions of returning to the Emirates Stadium as a sporting director and has targets he'd like to see the Gunners chase

Arsenal legend Robert Pires believes that Arsene Wenger would be willing to pay the funds to sign 18-year-old attacker Kylian Mbappe, as long as he believes he is the right player.

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Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe has attracted attention from various clubs in Europe and while his price tag is expected to fetch over £100m, Pires believes does not think that will put the manager off, despite his reputation for financial prudence.

Pires, 43, who has been linked with a role as sporting director, is aware of the calibre of player the Gunners require to sign and already has a personal shortlist. 

“I have a long list. Mbappe, Alexandre Lacazette, Ousmane Dembele, Thomas Lemar - this is my list, be careful. I’m not the manager but I believe in Arsene Wenger for the new season and to spend a lot of money on players. He knows the market is very difficult this summer and he has a lot of work to do but I’m confident," he said at Arsenal’s Puma home kit launch event in Kings Cross Square.

"I’m always confident. When I talk about football and the Premier League I think everything is possible. Man United spent a lot of money for Paul Pogba last summer and I think Arsenal can spend a lot of money on one player like Mbappe. A lot of teams want Mbappe, like Madrid, but there will be a difficult fight for him."

Furthermore, Pires, ​who won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups during his time at Arsenal and regularly trains with the first-team squad as part of his own fitness regime, has admitted that it would be a “dream” to return to the club as sporting director but says the role isn’t a priority for the Gunners right now.


Thomas Lemar

He continues to have a close relationship with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and while he recently poured scorn on having a director of football at Emirates Stadium, the role appeals to Pires for a variety of reasons - although he’s not sure whether or not it will happen.

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“Soon? I don’t know. But this is my dream because I love Arsenal,” Pires said.

“I have a very good relationship with the club, especially with Arsene Wenger. It’s not a priority for the club - maybe one day - but for the moment it’s not in Arsenal’s plans. The most important thing is to build a good team for next season.”

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