The front covers of one of Spain's best selling sports newspapers this week carried a story claiming Real Madrid have made a third bid for Monaco's Kylian Mbappe.
Madrid-based daily AS quoted French radio station RMC who claimed that the European champions are willing to pay the Ligue 1 champions €135 million to secure the services of the continent's most in-demand teenager.
Los Blancos appear to be in pole position to sign Mbappe, although AS claim Manchester United have tabled a bid of €130m, while cross-city rivals Manchester City are said to have bid €120m. The figures are astronomical for the player who does not turn 19 until December, and Mbappe himself is understood to favour staying at Monaco for another season at least to continue his progression.
Paddy Power therefore make it most likely that the Frenchman will stay in the south of France, offering Mbappe at 7/5 (2.40) to remain at Monaco after the close of the transfer window.
Madrid, meanwhile, are second favorites, just behind in the betting at 17/10 (2.70) well ahead of the next club in the market, Arsenal.
The Gunners are offered at 10/3 (4.33) and have been heavily linked to the forward, although it is difficult to envisage a situation where they beat Madrid to a signing. With no Champions League football to offer and a relatively rigid wage structure, Arsenal will have to pull off something special to sign Mbappe, although manager Arsene Wenger retains ties with his former club Monaco.
Jose Mourinho will be looking for a forward to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic and United have the financial capacity to compete with practically any other side in world football.