Virgil van Dijk during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Norwich City and Southampton at Carrow Road on January 7, 2017 in Norwich, England.

Rumour Mill: Mbappe, Lukaku, Coutinho the talk of the town

The off-season, more commonly known as the ‘silly season’ in most sports around the world is in full swing with all the big names and big clubs opening their chequebooks in their bid for European domination next season.

The hottest 18-year-old property

Monaco superstar Kylian Mbappe is the most talked about youngster on the planet right now, with a host of European heavyweights lining up bids for the generational talent.

Monaco are standing firm, however, knocking back an £87m bid from Arsenal last week.

The Sun are claiming Champions League winners Real Madrid have launched a mammoth £118m bid for the French teen while it is believed Arsene Wenger is in Nice this week in a bid to scope out the teen sensation.

Messi’s wish list

Lionel Messi might be training with his national side in Bundoora right now, a fair way from the Camp Nou, however it hasn’t stopped him from putting his two cents into Barcelona’s war chest for next season.

According to Spanish publication Don Balon, Messi has touted Philippe Coutinho, Marco Varratti and Riyad Mahrez as players he wants to see at the Catalan club next season.

Mahrez has stated he wants to leave Leicester this summer, however the former Premier League champions have put a hefty £50m price tag on his head due to his lengthy contract.

Arsenal have also been linked with the want-away winger.

Messi’s teammate, Neymar has publicly spoken of his desire to lure his national teammate to the Spanish giants with Liverpool putting a £68m price tag on the Brazillian.

Belgian chocolate

Everton’s Romelu Lukaku is also one of the hottest strikers on the market with the Merseyside club wanting £100m for their star performer.

German giants Bayern Munich are reportedly interested in the 24-year-old, with Carlo Ancelotti a long-time admirer of the Belgian.

Liverpool beat rivals to centre-half

ESPN sources have confirmed Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has indicated to Liverpool that they are his preferred destination should a summer move eventuate this summer.

Chelsea and Manchester City were also eyeing off the Southampton star, however the Merseyside club will now attempt to satisfy the needs of Southampton to secure van Dijk’s services.

It is believed Liverpool will have to offer in excess of £50m to sign van Dijk, with Southampton chairman recently saying the club could realistically turn down a £60m bid for him.

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