Will this man be the most expensive player ever?

Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing for Real Madrid next season and reports in Spain say Kylian Mbappe could be alongside him.

The four-time Ballon D’or winner was reportedly unhappy in the Spanish capital and rumours of a move, particularly back to Manchester United, began to circulate.

After captaining Portugal in the Confederations Cup and now coming to the end of a promotional tour in Asia, the 32-year-old has spoken about his future.

He told Spanish newspaper Marca that he sees himself in Madrid with the aim of repeating last season’s title and Champions League success.

“Winning important trophies with my club last year was great, just like the individual trophies, and to do it again would be great,” he said.

“You have to work hard, year after year. I will continue to do it, football is my life, it is my passion.”

This came on the day Marca said Real had agreed a £161m (€180m) deal for teenage Monaco striker Mbappe.

The newspaper reported yesterday morning that the La Liga and Champions League holders had struck a huge agreement for the 18-year-old that would shatter the current world-record transfer.

The £89m (€100m) paid by Manchester United for Paul Pogba last summer was the top mark, but should this deal go ahead, it will nearly double that.

Mbappe’s breakthrough year with Monaco — which saw him score 26 goals in all competitions as his side won the Ligue 1 title — has seen him linked with a host of clubs including Arsenal and Manchester City.

But Marca claims Real have won the race, especially given they have an extra £60m (€67.1m) to play with following the sale of Alvaro Morata to Chelsea.

Counter reports, though, said Monaco were unaware of a deal.

Staying on the transfer theme, Manchester United are still two signings short this summer, but Jose Mourinho is confident executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has the situation under control.

After making four acquisitions in his first summer at the Old Trafford helm, the plan was to make a further four top-quality additions ahead of the 2017-18 season.

So far defender Victor Lindelof has arrived from Benfica, with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku snared in a deal worth an initial £75m (€83.9m) .

However, progress on the final two signings has been slow with Mourinho even saying in recent days that one acquisition would now be enough.

Woodward joined up with United’s American pre-season tour having stayed back to work on deals that the United manager is confident the executive vice-chairman has a grip on.

“I don’t know,” he said when asked if any progress had been made on transfers.

“Ed is in control. He did Lindelof and Lukaku, he knows that I would like two more players, but he also knows that I have balance.

“I understand the situation, I understand the market and if my club is not able to do two players and do just one, I will accept that as a consequence of the market now.

“Our relation is good and I just wait for good news — and he knows that for me good news is to have the players, or in this case maybe just the player as soon as possible because to work together with the team is really, really important.

“But I’m calm. I like my players, I like my squad, I trust them, so I’m calm and that’s important.”

Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic has been targeted this summer, while there is interest in Chelsea defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic and Tottenham’s Eric Dier.

“I’m happy with my squad, but I would like to have two more players — I never hide that,” Mourinho said.

“One player would be a midfield player that gives me more options, more balance to the team, our needs.

“Another one, an attacking player, especially that can play through the wings to give me also more attacking options.”



Lifestyle

Unmasking Limerick's newest masked rapper

How to stop tensions boiling over this festive season

Decorating your house for Christmas? Here's some advice from three Irish interior designers

A look back at the 10 big stories form the year in music

More From The Irish Examiner