Liverpool dealt blow as £125m-rated striker eyes Real Madrid move

After a disastrous Premier League title defence this season, the pressure is on Liverpool to sign some fresh talent this summer.

Liverpool-linked sensation Kylian Mbappe could join Real Madrid instead this summer. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Following another dazzling display in the Champions League, interest in PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe has continued to escalate, with a host of Europe's elite clubs keeping tabs on the 2018 World Cup winner.

The latest report on the 22-year-old's future suggests he's dead set on a move to Real Madrid, which would come as a crushing blow to Liverpool, who have been heavily-linked with the player for some time.

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What's the story?

A report from Spanish news outlet AS claims Mbappe has informed the Ligue 1 giants of his wish to sign for Los Blancos this summer, as he's eager to link up with their manager, France legend Zinedine Zidane.

The ex-Monaco forward, who has scored a stunning 122 goals in 162 games for PSG, is out of contract at the end of next season, and his club will look to cash in before his value plummets, or, worst-case scenario, he leaves for nothing in a year’s time.

It's worth noting that AS - while a reputable source - bases its report on information broadcast by national television stations Cuatro and Cadena SER, which does raise doubts over how legitimate the story is.

Furthermore, the report suggests Real Madrid could sign both Mbappe and Erling Haaland, which would see the club spent well over £200m - a fairly astonishing investment to make in football's current uncertain financial climate.

Do the bookies fancy it?

As things stand, Liverpool are still the bookies' firm, 3/1 favourites to sign Mbappe this summer, ahead of Real Madrid at 6/1 - so, they think the Reds have twice as good a chance of signing him as Real do.

Bayern Munich (16/1), Manchester City (16/1) and Manchester United (20/1) look unlikely to provide any competition at this stage, in what looks likely to be a two-horse race.

What are his chances of joining Liverpool?

It would be foolish to rule the Reds out of it. While they've lost around £12m a month in match day revenue during the Covid pandemic, the owners recently landing a £538m investment deal with RedBird Capital will mean the club won't be short of a penny or two for some time.

That said, a new centre-back looks to be the Reds' transfer priority, and they may spend big one either Dayot Upamecano or Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.

The aforementioned Haaland's representatives have already met with Real Madrid, as his agent looks to land a massive pay day from Europe's highest bidder. Should Madrid move for Haaland, the door could be left open for Liverpool to capture Mbappe.

He's also publicly praised the Reds and their manager Jurgen Klopp on more than one ocassion, which could count for something, you know.

What are the fans saying?

@sourab_dman tweeted: “Mbappe will never join Real Madrid.”

@dhuks1 tweeted: “Like FSG would honestly sanction a move with that much money. Let's all be realistic fans expectations vs reality.”

@stevie80con tweeted: “Back in the day I always wanted Liverpool to sign Thierry Henry but it never ever happened. I swear I feel the same way about Kylian Mbappe and he’s just like him. I’m staying hopeful we sign him despite what the naysayers think.”