Arsenal have been given encouragement in their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe as they prepare for an exodus of players this summer that will release funds from their wage-bill.
Although Mbappe has a choice of major clubs in Europe should he decide to leave Monaco, he has indicated that he does regard Arsenal as a potentially viable solution at this early stage of his development, essentially because of manager Arsene Wenger and his track-record for nurturing young players.
However, having already turned down a €120 million offer from Real Madrid, Monaco would now want around €130 or €140 million for the 18-year-old France striker and there is a serious doubt over whether Arsenal would stretch that far. It leaves Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and Mbappe’s Monaco team-mate Thomas Lemar as more likely targets but any deals this summer would also have to take into account the impact on Arsenal’s wage-bill.
The same would apply to new contracts for Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, with Arsenal signed up to updated Premier League cost control rules which apply for this current broadcast deal until 2019 and which limit the increase in their wage spend from television money to £7 million each season.
That increase can be greater if the clubs had increased their wage bill by less than £19 million since 2012-13 or have additional income, either from commercial activities or profit in the transfer market, but it is thought that criteria is of less relative help to Arsenal than its major competitors.
Chelsea and Manchester City, for example, have kept their wage-bills relatively static – or even managed reductions – following splurges before 2012 and United have soaring commercial revenues.
Arsenal are not in danger of breaking any rules – and do not expect them to seriously impact on their planning – with Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud among those facing uncertain futures this summer and potentially freeing up funds on top of the more peripheral squad members that include Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Wojciech Szczesny.
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