Will AS Monaco’s best players be prised away in the summer?

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AS Monaco are set to secure their first Ligue 1 title since 2000 after cruising to a 4-0 victory over Lille on Sunday.

The youthful outfit from the independent city-state are undefeated in league competition since December, and have just broken the 100-goal mark, registering 102 strikes with two games still to play.

The UEFA Champions League was another competition they excelled in, looking dangerous as potential dark horses until they were stopped 4-1 on aggregate by Juventus in the Semi-Finals.

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Radamel Falcao amassed his highest Champions League scoring tally this season, netting seven times from 10 appearances. His highest European tally came in the Europa League with FC Porto in 2010/11, scoring 18 times from 16 appearances.

Leonardo Jardim has constructed one of the most exciting and free-scoring sides in Europe, fully deserving of being crowned champions, but must be wary of what is to come in the summer.

Several high-profile clubs have become aware of the prospects at Monaco, causing all kinds of speculation, and here we analyze the likelihood of three key players staying or leaving in the new campaign.

Tiemoue Bakayoko

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22-year-old midfield Tiemoue Bakayoko continues to be linked to Premier League clubs, with Manchester United and Chelsea both believed to be preparing £35 million bids in the summer.

Depending on what sources you read in the whirlwind of rumours that is the media, Chelsea agreed terms with Bakayoko back in March. Interest in the powerhouse midfielder remains rife, though, meaning a decision is unlikely to be announced just yet.

It’s also important to remember that Bakayoko was born in Paris and has been quoted by his agent in saying he would consider a move to Unai Emery’s side. Either way, current circumstances makes it highly unlikely that Bakayoko will be a Monaco player next season.

Bernardo Silva

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A midfielder small in size but stacked with technical quality, Bernardo Silva’s performances have demanded the attention of world-beaters such as Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Silva needed just six months on loan with Monaco to convince them over a permanent transfer in 2014, signing for €15.75 million, but it’s fair to say a move in the summer would equate to a more significant fee.

Silva has scored 8 times and assisted 9, the joint-most assists in Ligue 1, from 35 appearances. His elegance and composure on the ball has complemented the more physical and robust players amongst the squad, which is why joining Barcelona or Real Madrid would probably suit better than a move to a Premier League club.

That has not stopped the pursuit from Manchester United or Manchester City, though, as both are believed to be in the hunt for Silva. Mourinho has reportedly made Silva’s transfer a ‘priority’ over the summer, while Silva would be an ideal purchase for Pep Guardiola, who would find a way to build the team around the mazy midfielder.

If reports are to be believed, then the names of some of the teams interested in Silva makes it difficult for Monaco to keep hold of him next season.

Kylian Mbappe

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Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe has burst onto the scene in emphatic fashion, scoring 25 goals in all competitions (including six in the UEFA Champions League), understandably attracting major attention.

His departure is one we’re less sure of. Firstly, this was only Mbappe’s second season in senior football. Secondly, Monaco will price teams out of a transfer, as they were reported to have done to Manchester United, demanding a whopping £100 million for his signature.

As unlikely as an agreement would be made over such a fee, the move would add unnecessary pressure to Mbappe in developmental years of his career. He cannot be guaranteed consistent playing time at any of the clubs that can afford to pay such ridiculous figures.

It seems only a matter of time before Mbappe is plying his trade with one of the biggest clubs in world football, but we’re not so sure that time has come just yet.

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