Monaco complete takeover of Belgian club

Cercle Brugge have sold a majority stake in the club to Ligue 1 leaders Monaco.

Monaco have completed their takeover of second-tier Belgian outfit Cercle Brugge.

The purchase has been made as part of the Ligue 1 club's youth strategy, as they bid to unearth the next Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, 18, has scored 24 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions this season, and Monaco's acquisition of a majority stake in Cercle Brugge will likely see some of the forward's fellow young prospects head to Belgium for first-team experience.

A statement read: "AS Monaco and Cercle Brugge are pleased to announce the acquisition of the Belgian second division club by the Monegasque outfit, effective Friday.

"The General Meeting of Cercle Brugge shareholders unanimously voted in favour of granting a majority stake to AS Monaco. The project will contribute to the club's sporting growth as part of its youth development policy.

"Cercle Brugge was founded in 1899 and is one of Belgium's historic clubs. Its core values and character will remain fully intact."

Monaco are three points clear of Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 with a game in hand over last season's champions.