Man Utd have no chance of beating Liverpool to £154m striker - despite what the rumours claim

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Kylian Mbappe could be on his way out of Paris Saint-Germain in the coming months.

Sometimes you come across a piece of transfer speculation that is so egregiously nonsensical it can be difficult to know where to begin unravelling it. Perhaps, in these moments, to scythe through the frippery and save everybody's time, the best approach is one of blunt disregard. So, here goes: Manchester United are not signing Kylian Mbappe.

Even writing those two names, club and player, in the same sentence feels a touch foolish, but allow me to explain. Mbappe's current contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires this summer, with little indication that he has any plans to extend his stay in the French capital. Ordinarily, that would spark the kindling on the usual bonfire of rumours linking him with Spanish giants Real Madrid, but, as per The Times, the forward has already decided against any such transfer this year.

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Instead, Mbappe supposedly has his heart set on a move to the Premier League, and according to Catalan outlet Sport, has emerged as a target for Liverpool, Chelsea, and - you guessed it - Manchester United.

Given the looming expiration of his contract in Paris, the 25-year-old is permitted to begin negotiations with foreign clubs this month ahead of a prospective free transfer at the end of the current campaign, but while he may technically be available, the chances of him arriving at Old Trafford in the near future feel slim to minimal.

Financially, without the burden of his £154 million (or thereabouts) market valuation to consider, United could probably make a move for Mbappe work. His wages would be astronomical, of course - somewhere in the region of £64 million per season - but with fresh investment in the club and a fanbase to win over, this would be exactly the kind of marquee capture to convince supporters that their side mean business.

The obstacle, therefore, would come from Mbappe himself. Part of the reason that the superstar has been repeatedly touted as a target for Real Madrid in recent years is because there is a widespread, and entirely justified, assumption that he wants to win a Champions League title. He is, after all, one of the very best players of his generation, and would presumably like to assemble a personal medal collection to reflect that status.

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Why, then, would he voluntarily sign for a team who, based on their recent form, will struggle to qualify for the Europa Conference League next season, let alone the continent's top competition? It is for this reason that Chelsea do not feel like a viable option either. Mbappe is an elite athlete, not some kind of footballing philanthropist. His next move has to be a forward one, or, at the bare minimum, sideways. To go backwards and commit himself to a speculative rebuild is unimaginable.

United, for all of their reputation and historic renown, are a project in flux, and until they steady themselves and begin to make meaningful progress towards their long term goals, the likes of Mbappe will remain out of their reach. The Red Devils may be willing, but they are far from able, and at this present moment in time designs on the French icon are nothing more than hubristic pipe dreams.

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