Monaco owner Dmitry Rybolovlev has admitted that he won’t be able to top players for moving to Manchester United – or any other big club – over the summer.
The French side, transformed under manager Leonardo Jardim, claimed their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years and reached the Champions League semi-final over the last month.
It has been reported that Jose Mourinho, in turn, has taken great interest in Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoué Bakayoko ahead of the summer transfer window.
And Rybolovlev, when asked about the summer, admitted that he couldn’t stop players from wanting to leave over the next few months.
“We are not here to decide in the place of men, block them, tell them yes or no,” he said.
“We have no budget problem and we are not forced to sell, but the day when a player or coach wants to leave, it’s just unimaginable to keep him against his wish. We are not Real Madrid or Barcelona or Manchester. Everyone has to cross the road in his career to go even higher. You do not keep a man against his will.
“In business, if you go against the market and against the trends, you will always lose. After, if someone goes, this is not our initiative. You know, (Anthony) Martial, it was he who wanted to leave and we can understand.”
The Russian billionaire may be in charge of a fiscal superpower – now the home of some of the world’s brightest talents – that will only continue to improve over time, but when the big clubs, those with a truly worldwide name, come knocking there is little he will be able to do.
His players, most notably Mbappe and Silva, the two main cogs in this Monaco machine, will be highly sought after this summer and one suspects that a lucrative offer from United – who already have a good relationship with Monaco following deals involving Radamel Falcao and Anthony Martial in recent times – may be too good to refuse.