Who Believes Arsenal Is Paying £100 Million For Mbappé?


The British elections took a huge chunk of wind out of the sails of the transfer rumor mongers. But as sure as night follows day, unless Theresa May commits some other major hubristic political blunder between now and August, the click-whoring media will resume regular service. Transfer gossip it seems unites all parties, whether Conservative, Labour or UKIP and sells well internationally.

May I remind readers that, prior to the elections, the Kylian Mbappe media frenzy was in full swing. Absent any shred of real evidence, the English media took the standard option; spot any rumor from an overseas publication, preferably French, and trumpet it as proof that Arsenal is in a bidding war with other big European clubs for the young starlet. Below are a few headlines over the past week:

Arsene Wenger ‘promises Kylian Mbappe he will be Arsenal’s number 9 if he joins from Monaco in £122m deal’ – The Sun

Arsenal launch fresh Kylian Mbappe transfer bid, Monaco to decide at the weekendThe Metro

Monaco reject Arsenal’s £87m Kylian Mbappe bidThe Telegraph

Monaco to offer Kylian Mbappe new contract to fend off Arsenal and Real Madrid transfer interestThe Independent

Despite repeated public assertions by Monaco, through its owner and other surrogates, that Mbappe is not up for sale, it is evident that that the English press is keen to engender a down and dirty bidding war for Mbappe using Arsenal as a prop in this spectacle. After all, it is now well known that Arsene Wenger and his scouts, long before the youngster burst on the scenes, identified him as a hot prospect. Wenger in an interview on beIN sports in early May disclosed:

“The player would tell you that I was at his home last year to try to get him here,

 “Because he was at the end of [his] contract but Monaco managed to keep him and the decision was very, very tight.”

But the Boss was not optimistic about his chances at making a deal in the future:

“Can Arsenal get him? I don’t know, that’s down to him. You know certainly as I do that today he will decide where he goes and say: Real Madrid? Maybe. Barcelona? Maybe. Arsenal? Manchester? He can go where he wants. 

“So I don’t know what is his deep aspirations but maybe the best thing for him is to stay one more year at Monaco.”

Very shrewd statement by the Boss there. If Arsenal can’t get him then surely he should stay at Monanco.

But no words, no facts, it seems, will stop the English media from hyping this story. Immediately after Wenger was re-engaged as manager, the very same football media who had been campaigning against him,  decided his link with Mbappe was too rich to ignore.

James Olley, a reknowned kindler of bogus Arsenal stories, wasted no time and on May 27th, had a big blaring headline in the Evening Standard:

Arsene Wenger given £100m to turn Arsenal into title winners with Alexandre Lacazette, Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Lemar among targets

The essence of his totally unsourced story is the boss had been handed a new deal and a fat juicy transfer budget. Conveniently bundled in is Mbappe as a transfer targets along with 2 others. His ruse is so transparent; should anyone of these transfers come true he will claim full credit.

But flagging up the Monaco man would have no legs in the 24-hour transfer news cycle until a Gallic source could be ginned up. Duly obliging, by June 1st there was a tweet by one Robin Bairner, supposedly associated with the well known French publication, L’Equipe, which was enough for EuroSport to blast:

Arsenal ‘bid €100m for Kylian Mbappe’

I checked Monsieur Bairner’s twitter account and found he is nothing more than a freelance football writer, specializing in France & Scotland, and who emphasizes his association with that mother of online transfer rumors Goal.com.

The flimsy veracity of the French reporting did not restrain The Mirror from repeating the rumor one day later:

“ Now Wenger’s future is settled, with confirmation of a two-year contract extension announced on Wednesday, attention turns to building towards a return to the Champions League next season.

“And the Gunners are willing to throw €100 million (£87m) at getting Monaco’s starlet Mbappe to the Emirates, says the paper.”

The byline used was one Mick Gadd. Apparently John Cross, who usually does the Arsenal beat, didn’t have the stomach for such obvious mendacity.

As is now obvious, the English media have been successful in building a giant story out of nothing, pulling in clubs far and wide:

June 5th – Daily Mail:

“Real Madrid set for a busy summer of departures, contract extensions, a presidential election and the pursuit of David de Gea and Kylian Mbappe”

June 5th – City Watch:

Real Madrid to make €135m bid Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappé – will Man City react?

June 6th – Manchester Evening News:

Manchester United make world-record bid for Kylian Mbappe and more transfer rumours”

June 8th – The Sun:

“Chelsea enter race for Kylian Mbappe as Antonio Conte contacts Monaco’s teenage sensation”

This is a classic example of what is now commonly called fake news, the construction of a totally false narrative by the mainstream media which is projected as the truth. For the commercial media the primary purpose of this ginned up, artificial news is to generate eyeballs whether at the newsstand or on-line. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce that the sports pages of any newspaper or sports division in the broadcast media is a profit center designed to be a huge source of revenue.

A secondary aim, based on the historical evidence, is to further fear and despair among Arsenal fans. Many, despite the abundance of facts to the contrary, have the completely unrealistic notion that their club can compete head-to-head with Madrid, United, Chelsea, and City for top talent in the market. The number of fans on twitter who seriously expect Mbappe to sign for Arsenal is frightening. If, as the Mirror claims, Arsene was granted a  £100 million budget, how could that possibly purchase a player valued at £130 million by Madrid.

Too many Arsenal football fans, I am afraid, are the perfect example of the human guinea pig, whose love of their club is ultimately destroyed by being sucked into the deadly games of the mainstream media. It is all so predictable, Mbappe will most likely be signed by a big club which, given the media frenzy, is stampeded into ponying up over  £100 million for the services of the young Frenchman. Our fans will completely lose their sh*t, blaming the club for lack of ambition when it was plainly unrealistic from the start to expect it to expend almost all its transfer budget on one player.

For those who remain calm, rational and objective, I offer you the words of the boss himself when asked by beIN Sports about how many signings he is expecting to make this summer:

“Between a maximum of two or three,

“We cannot spend as much as many other clubs because some clubs have external resources that allow them to be basically unlimited.

“When you buy a player for £40million, everybody will have at the start a positive judgement. When you buy him for £2million, he can’t be good?

“That means a big signing is not necessarily linked with the amount of money spent.”

A word to the wise should be sufficient.


49 comments on “Who Believes Arsenal Is Paying £100 Million For Mbappé?

  1. As unlikely as this transfer is to happen it would be a major win for us if it does go through. Mbappe can only get better and at his age will fit into our U 21, U 23 & 25 man first team squads.
    He seems a sensible lad and chose to stay put last season when we could have bought him for appx £230,000 (touch of irony if we now pay £100 million).
    Anyway, the Mail are bigging us up on this and favour Arsenal over RM. As if.


  2. Hi Shotta. As usual a straight shooting, wonderful write up.

    I would however like to present an alternate point of view. (Not as regards the media, they can go jump)

    Arsenal have money. Lots of money. Not more than ManU, Chelsea, City, PSG, Real Madrid or Barcelona, but lots of money.

    It is also a fallacy to believe that we are disinclined to spend this money. We don’t spend more than we can comfortably afford, but we have always spent the money we could (unless the right players weren’t available)

    Wenger’s oft remembered statement of what he’d do with a 100m pounds is the quip that he’d return it. What is less remembered is that in 2009, when asked the same question he first asked if he could spend it all on one player or had to spread it around. He said he’d spend it on the one player he felt could make the difference. Wenger is not averse to spending big when he believes it is the right thing to do. (All the talk of him being scared to spend money is bunkum)

    So for me, the question is only, is Mbappe the right signing at the right time? Wenger is obviously a huge believer in his talent. We have a need he can fulfil in the squad. He’s young so won’t count against the 25 man squad domestically, and with us in the Europa the added depth could be significant. He’s supported Arsenal apparently. The sticking point is the money. Arsenal CAN spend that much if they want. A few years ago, Gazidis has also said that there is no set budget as such, and that if an opportunity arises, Arsenal endeavour to make more money available. Fees are also paid over a few years rather than all at once, so budgeting is more complex than 100m and that’s it.

    We’ll be overpaying massively, or rather paying based on potential, but that may be the only reason we can get him ahead of clubs who might not have the same need and cannot offer him a starting spot, and can get more established players to come to them, thereby making them wary of spending so much on an 18 year old. We’re on the brink with this team, and with Cech, Per, Santi, Ozil, Alexis and Giroud all either in their prime or towards the end of their careers, we have a small window for this current team to win. And since the negativity in the fanbase has also affected performances, a statement signing can help turn that around. We also don’t need to buy in too many positions. I think only a midfielder apart from a forward now that Kolasinac is done, and we will also make some money (and free up wages) from selling some players.

    If Mbappe wants to come to us, I think Wenger is willing to pay a huge, even world record fee for him. That’s what Wenger’s statement reads like to me. And he’s going to do it to set Arsenal up with what he believes is a potential Golden Ball winner for the next decade. That’s what we built the stadium for.

    I’m not saying we must get Mbappe. I’m just saying that I think we genuinely are in for him, and that alone is proof positive that Arsenal and Wenger have done fantastic work in getting us to where we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shotts with the clear sighted, informed, level headed opinion.
    Why you stealing ‘the crazies’ sunshine with common sense you bully?
    They can be proved right that the club lacks ambition,is meandering under wholly inept stewardship.
    Get on board with the crazies you know it dosen’t make sense.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you Shotts, very enjoyable.

    Especially the dissection of the Wally Olly, gallant podcastateer and upstanding parasite upon the online Arsenal lemmings that he is, an embarrassment to the species.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “Unfortunately nobody talks about the performance of Rob Holding…”

    It can be observed and recorded that the many hacks, blaggers and podcastateers seldom discuss the bleedin’ Football. The plonkers…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Interesting…..a hell of a lot of money, really cannot see it, but as a citizen of the UK this week, well aware that strange things can happen.
    I suppose we would need to factor in possible players leaving who may need top replacements, even if not in their direct position. Don’t think Wenger would be forced to signing anyone , but if …say we were unfortunate enough to lose a star player or two, a big replacement….may….or may not help..especially should said star player/s end up at a rival.Then, is the worth of a player like Mbappe likely to increase over the years? Might do if he really is as promising as he seems.
    Also, we could build a team around him, RM cannot…..and Wenger does have quite a reputation for developing young players, not sure RM always have that luxury.
    Counter to that, what sort of pressure would that kind of fee place on a youngster?
    Cannot see it, but wouldn’t completely rule out at least some kind of hefty bid either.


  7. Shard: Thanks for your considered response. Your point of view that Arsenal has LOTS of money is quite common among the blog-meisters and twitterati. Yup, Arsenal has lots of money compared to Spurs, Liverpool, Everton etc. But it pales in comparison to United (£300million annually in commercial revenue alone), Chelsea and City. The latter two are sugar daddy clubs which are either PR or asset-diversification projects of their respective owners.

    In an era of spiralling inflation in professional football, where £50 million transfers and £300,000 per week salaries are becoming common place, a self sufficient club like Arsenal cannot chance £100 million on one player. It may make sense if the player agreed to a 7-10 year contract, which means the cost is £10-£15 million amortized annually but which agent in his right mind would tie his client to such long term servitude. As you can see, I looked at it from many sides and it still doesn’t make sense. I will admit stranger things have happened but in this case don’t get your hopes up.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. shard the “£100M – I’d give it back” quote is one of those quotes that is taken totally out of context, Wenger even added the context at the time, but the media decided that it was a better quote without context.
    The context was that Arsene Wenger knew the financial state of Arsenal FC at the time, and that spending £100M on new players was actually something we could not afford to go wrong. It would have put the future of the club at real risk.

    Shotta, is your article actually suggesting that the £100M transfer budget Arsenal have given Arsene Wenger, will not see us sign Mbappe,(£130M) James,(£70M) PEA,(£80M) Lacazetta,(£50M) Van Djik,(£70M) Pickford,(£30M) Sidibe,(£25M) and two or three squad players too, you clearly have different mathematical theories that journos, pundits and uber bloggers.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. By the way I like Wenger’s comment recently that if he had the money, he would have no problem spending “£300M on a player” if he felt the player was good enough and worth it. But first you had to have the money to spend, and then you had to find the player worth it.


  10. Arsenal FC‏Verified account @Arsenal 50m50 minutes ago

    They’ve done it!

    Massive congratulations to @Ains_7 and @England on winning the Under-20 World Cup 🏆

    Liked by 3 people

  11. so it looks like Wenger was correct in his view that Bayern Munich had a hand and part in Serge Gnabry leaving Arsenal last summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. so guys, Wenger has suggested that if Ozil and Alexis don’t sign new deals that he is in favor of keeping them for the coming season and letting them go on a bosman next summer,(if AFC can not persuade them to sign new deals over the course of the next year).

    well for me, if they don’t sign this summer, and soon, I would try to sell both to foreign clubs if possible. Both very important players and very hard to replace, but that will not change in a year, and it has to be easier to replace them after getting transfer fees than having them go for free. Also we have some say in who they join this summer, but would have no say in who they join next summer.
    It would be awful to see either of them play for another english club, but that would be compounded if they got to join them for free.


  13. Buffon suggested yesterday that Szczesny is signing for Juventus.

    Buffon said “I am ready to retire with Donnarumma here(Italy) and Szczesny at Juventus. I know I won’t last forever.


  14. Marseille fan Koscielny refuses to rule out move away from Arsenal

    Koscielny reaffirms Arsenal commitment amid Marseille speculation

    Two headlines based on presumably the same quotes. I say presumably because I haven’t clicked on either.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. A tangent special praise to my old French teacher at Woodberry Downs school loyal gooner Miss Petri . You often hear her cheering on the team when the game goes quiet, she was a school legend

    During the power cuts of the 70’s mid week games kicked of at 14:00 a few of bunked off the last two periods to catch the 2nd half at the end of the game we were leaving via Avenell Road exit and who should we see coming off the North Bank other than Miss Petri . I hit the deck in the crowd and crouch ran “Like a 8.9 100 in the underbrush”

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Shotta. All I meant to say was that we can sign Mbappe for that crazy money if we want to and that Wenger isn’t ideologically opposed to this (not that you said he is)

    Whether we should or not, I leave up to those in charge.

    I have no problem having my hopes dashed when it comes to Arsenal. I just move on to the next hope. Why should I not get my hopes up? Not that I’m really hoping for Mbappe though. I think we need to buy a forward, and a midfielder. Beyond that, I may have my opinions and my favourites, but I know I do not have the expertise (nor information) to make the right call. I’ll simply back whoever comes in at whatever price. Not complicated this, supporting a club.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. sorry I did not mean for all of that to come ove not sure how that happened
    But she is a leg


  18. shock news
    I never saw this coming (Banned eye-roll emoji)
    Serge Gnabry: Former Arsenal winger joins Bayern Munich from Werder Bremen


  19. Ramsey from a penalty gives wales the lead away to serbia. a very calm chipped finish, commentators called it a panenka, but i’m not so sure


  20. If Giroud got that call in the PL he would easily score or assists on 20 goals per season.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Great piece Shotta – the transfer ‘window’ at least keeps the Winters and the Ashtons of his world in paid employment rather than being dependent upon the public purse over the close season. And if the football authorities had not invented the window I suspect that nice Mr Murdoch may have had to invent it for them.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. everyone is talking of 230,000 for mbappe last season but if we had bought him last season he woiuld now have been as stagnated as jeff. remember jeff was as talented in last two pre-seasons but as soon as the season starts ever critical arsenal fans would crucify any of them for the least of mistakes. so no need to mention the 230,000 anymore.
    but if we had bought him last season for 50m i’m pretty sure he would have excelled as much as he has or even more. so the bottomline for any arsenal player to thrive is for them to arrive on huge transfer fees. coming to this shore on little or nothing is failure on arrival. coq, giroud, ramsey kos per, etc

    another funny thing is that evry player that arrive here always testify that they improve tremendously under wenger but that never translate to value on the trasfer market. every of our players almost always lose value compared to other clubs. pickford 30m > szczesny 14m, benteke 30m > giroud 20m matic 30m >coq 7m. all this because arsenal fans are always the first to deride their players, how would rival clubs value them. lucas’ record this season can relatively compare to morata’s but one is going for 70m while other is going for 12m. you know what? it is the same arsena fans that will tell you that it is because one is 23 while the other is 27.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I see the ASB are using the same trick as last year to cause fake outrage among other ASB’s by pretending to be ITK’s and putting out big Arsenal news, so that when it don’t happen they can blame Wenger/Kroenke/Club for failing to close the deal. This time its the cufflink seller who is pretending to be ITK. Laughable how many of the malcontents fall for this nonsense, as if the club would be leaking inside info to groups of people who are known for attacking the club at every chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. layksite, its the same people who told us Gnabry was not good enough for Arsenal, who are now lambasting Wenger and the club for Gnabry refusing to sign a new contract with us, after indicating he would, once he had a good Olympics, and Bayern Munich done an underhand deal with him.

    Bayern have for years been pulling strokes with their rivals main players, but now they are even arranging transfers of players to other clubs, so that they can judge them better in the German league, before signing them. Either nothing illegal about it, or at least nothing that can be proven, but its as clear as anything, how they operate and its less than honest.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. I see, somehow, England’s U20 World Cup win, has ended up in English journos taking digs at Arsenal’s lack of game time afforded to young players, especially young English ones.
    Its as if Maitland-Niles who is only 19 has not played 10 games for us so far, and has also had a season loan at Ipswich, and of course Rob Holding has not just, only a few weeks ago, starred for us in our FA Cup final win, or that Calum Chambers has not just had a good season on loan at Middlesbrough.
    And lets pretend that young players such as Iwobi and Bellerin have not been given their chance to establish themselves in the first team

    talking of young players, was it not Alex Oxlade-chamberlain, who under PFA rules is still considered a young player, that scored England’s opener yesterday v Scotland.

    lets also pretend that journos for years have not been slagging off Arsenal for their over reliance in young players, instead of buying the “more established” players.

    its almost as if journos can contradict themselves without fear of being called out on it

    Liked by 2 people

  26. FT: Serbia 1-1 Wales

    the group now sees, after six rounds, Serbia top on 12pts, Rep of Ireland second, also on 12pts, Wales third with 8pts, and Austria fourth also with 8pts


  27. OptaJoe‏Verified account @OptaJoe 2h2 hours ago

    5 – Aaron Ramsey has had a hand in five goals in his last six international appearances for Wales (two goals, three assists). Deft.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. ESPN FC‏Verified account @ESPNFC 5h5 hours ago

    Serie A is set to become the first league to officially introduce video assistant referees from the 2017-18 season. http://es.pn/2r87Jyz

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Simon Collings‏ @sr_collings Jan 26

    Wenger asked if he is interested in re-signing Gnabry

    “No, we sold him to Werder Bremen. At the time it looked like Bayern were behind it”

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Small world WWWB, I used to live on Woodberry Grove and my younger brothers attended Woodberry Downs!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. passenal
    I went to Woddberry Down in the 70’s


  32. Regarding Mbappe, worth remembering Arsenal often use smoke screens to deflect attention from real targets

    Liked by 2 people

  33. I am disappointed. None of you guys noted my incurious guinea pigs at the end. Happily heading off to be gobbled up in some ludicrous transfer trap set by the media.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. @ Shotta, I thought they were among the wise… they look too cute ti be among the bad eggs

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Congrats to the England u20 squad!

    And lest we forget congrats to Greg Dyke’s adopted son the blessed knight Sir Harry Kane savioir of the realm, purifier of our precious bodily fluids, who finally scored a goal in a competitive match for England that wasn’t redundant or in a dead rubber. Hopefully next time they’ll be able to the next step and win an important football match. (You can’t help by note that the England team has a better record when a fit Welbeck was the CF…alas he’s not a pumped up hype merchant).

    Liked by 2 people

  36. The modern day transfer monger is like the freak show ringmaster of yesterday.

    People would go to Coney Island or Blackpool Illuminations in order to have their tarot read, to gawk at those less fortunate then themselves, to point at starved and chained beasts.
    These days they just go to see the likes of Le Groan and those who believe that they are different but by their content can be seen to be of a similar denomination, culminating in the click baiting reach around alliance between such desperate luminaries as Piers Moron and Crucial Robbie.


  37. Absolutely Fins, which is why the club seem to make a lot of signings from left field. I try where I can to take no notice till the deals are done.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. I don’t see it as unthinkable for us to pay such a fee- 100 mill- for Mbappe, or someone else, but the trouble is I always see one of the others- City, Real, Utd- bunging a few million on top.

    There aren’t ever going to be many who it is feasible world record fees could be spent on, and for the foreseeable future it’s a near guarantee that one or more of those clubs will be in for anyone in that range.

    To swing things our way you would need an accommodating selling club, willing to accept less than the absolute maximum and, more importantly, a player who chose us as his number 1 choice by a distance, with a determination to make it happen if he can.

    So the 100 million, though a stretch in every sense, might be possible, but it seems to me the rest is the bigger challenge by far.

    Mbappe would deliver unprecedented excitement for me, but I’m trying (with limited success) not to get any hopes up whatsoever.

    At present, I’m still very hopeful and excited that we will bring in a good quality striker and central midfielder. That would leave us in an excellent position ,I think, so long as no one big leaves.

    It does seem plausible that good early signings can have an effect on Sanchez and perhaps Ozil,,too, so that adds some tension.

    There is the worry that, with good quality strikers being so few, we could miss out if we are after Mbappe and waiting on that, but the truth is we don’t know what’s happening right now, so we’ll be nervous or cool depending on our disposition and whatnot.

    No doubt the smartest thing to do would be to take a break from it all, return, and see what has happened.

    Nothing is missed that way and you can congratulate yourself on being sensible, and not having let the general idiocy of the transfer game touch your mind. But I don’t know how many of us can be that smart; we’re all football nuts after all.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. All other things being equal would an eighteen year old with the choice of half a dozen good clubs in France, Spain & the UK choose to move to a hostile country where he will have to adapt to a new culture (including crap weather) & learn another language. My money’s on PSG.


  40. Odds are that PSG ain’t gonna be signing anyone anytime soon!

    We shall see.


  41. Bunga Bunga” also f**ked (we hope): ‘More then a club’.
    The Neymar bung backwash and other such lucrative streams probably mean that the Qatar WC will remain in that location even if Qatar itself ends up disappearing.

    When getting in bed with a Sugar Daddy it is probably best to check on life expectancy, wills, the kind of due dilligence that would be carried out by a shambles of a club like the Arsenal.


    Conversely this all probably means that Abu Dhabi City will win the league next season (Sorry Andrew, please ignore that unsubstantiated projection).


  42. Rich I’ve avoided watching any footage of the French rookie so far!

    We might see him alongside Giroud against England in the upcoming friendly hehe


  43. Serge Gnabry‏Verified account @SergeGnabry 11 Apr 2012

    Watching Bayern v Dortmund with my german teammates #comeondortmund


  44. reported to be our tracksuits tops next season, suggesting that the away kit will be yellow


  45. reports that the BPL have proposed that some of the extra TV games starting in 2018/19 season should kick off at 7.45 on Saturday evenings


  46. afcstuff‏ @afcstuff 1h1 hour ago

    The EFL Cup has been renamed the Carabao Cup as the competition is now sponsored by the Thai energy drink company. #afc

    afcstuff‏ @afcstuff 1h1 hour ago

    League Cup sponsors:

    1981 Milk
    1986 Littlewoods
    1990 Rumbelows
    1992 Coca-Cola
    1998 Worthington
    2003 Carling
    2012 Capital One
    2017 Carabao


  47. Is this to suit the Chinese market?


  48. might very well be shotta, some suggestion that its to rival La Liga games and trying to cut into their world market


  49. New post up – and it is superb


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