Football

Mbappe set for PSG move

Leaked pictures show Jovetic wearing Monaco's No. 10 shirt as a replacement for Frenchman

Kylian Mbappe's anticipated move to Paris St Germain now appears a formality after Stevan Jovetic was pictured wearing the teenager's No. 10 shirt at Monaco.

Mbappe's future has been one of the summer's longest-running transfer stories, with Real Madrid and several Premier League clubs linked with a big-money move for the France forward.

PSG, who have already spent 222 million euros (S$360m) to bring Neymar from Barcelona this summer, ultimately emerged as the front-runners.

And leaked pictures showed his prospective replacement Jovetic in a photoshoot with Monaco, sporting the No. 10 shirt - given to Mbappe for the new season, after he had previously worn No. 29.

Jovetic will join Monaco after two seasons on the books of Inter Milan, the latter spent on loan at Sevilla where he made 24 appearances last term in all competitions, scoring seven goals.

Mbappe was expected to fly into the French capital yesterday, according to widespread French media reports.

Radio stations France Info and RMC revealed on Sunday that PSG had agreed to pay 180m euros including bonuses for the 18-year-old French international striker.

That would make him the second-most expensive transfer in football history behind Neymar.

However, concerns over meeting Uefa's Financial Fair Play (FFP) obligations mean PSG could initially sign Mbappe on loan, according to sports daily L'Equipe.

"Monaco and PSG on Sunday reached an agreement for a loan move for Kylian Mbappe to the Parisian club with an option to buy for 180 million euros," said L'Equipe, adding that Mbappe was scheduled to undergo a medical yesterday morning.

Mbappe left the principality yesterday morning along with Monaco winger Thomas Lemar and flew to Paris on his way to teaming up with the French national squad.

France will play a World Cup qualifier against Holland at the Stade de France on Friday morning (Singapore time) and a game against Luxembourg in Toulouse three days later.

After being left out of the Monaco squad last week, Mbappe was an unused substitute for Sunday's game against Marseille as the reigning French champions won 6-1.

That saw them join PSG at the top of the Ligue 1 table with four wins from four games at the start of the season.

Asked after the game about Mbappe's expected departure, Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said: "I am not confirming anything. It is not my role to discuss that. My role is on the field.

"He is a Monaco player. That is why he was on the bench.

"But, after it went 4-0, I didn't need him. The club's project is to bring through the best players."

Monaco captain Radamel Falcao added: "It's complicated for him. I hope that everything works out quickly for him, and that no other player will be leaving Monaco."

Mbappe refused to speak to French television at the end of Sunday's game.

A move for Mbappe will leave many wondering how PSG can avoid sanctions from Uefa considering the investment already made on Neymar.

FFP rules currently stipulate that clubs cannot post losses of more than 30m euros over the three-year period to 2018.

Among the sanctions risked by PSG if they are found to have broken those rules is a ban from the Champions League. - WIRE SERVICES

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