Arsenal will sign highly-rated Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe this summer, according to current first-team coach Robert Pires.
The 18-year-old is expected to be one of the most sought-after players in the upcoming transfer window after an excellent breakthrough season with the French giants.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have both been strongly tipped to bid for the frontman, while both Manchester clubs are also said to be in contention for a player who will command a fee in excess of £60m, with some reports claiming he could cost as much as £100m.
Gunners chief Arsene Wenger admitted he had been monitoring the forward earlier this week, but stated that the club’s finances would almost certainly scupper any deal.
However, former player Pires, who is now a coach at The Emirates, believes Arsenal will win the chase for the starlet.
“I do think Arsenal will sign him,” Pires told Bwin. “The problem is how much. Mbappe has the potential to play for Arsenal and Wenger is the right manager to manage him.
“Monaco and Arsenal are very similar in clubs, so it won’t be much of a transition.”
Mbappe has been likened to Pires’s former team-mate Thierry Henry, but the ex-winger says it would be “unfair” to compare them.
“The comparison is unnecessary, he’s not ready to be compared to Thierry,” he added. “Mbappe is a very similar player but to compare the two players would be unfair.
“I hope that Kylian can follow in the footsteps of Thierry Henry, he has the same profile as Thierry – quick, strong and a great finisher but he’s very young so I would hold off on comparisons just yet.”