Mbappe, 19, is looking to make history by becoming the first player to win the prize in consecutive years but Italian outlet Tuttosport, who created the award in 2003, has claimed he is close to missing out.
There is still hope for Mbappe though. He has a chance to climb the rankings and into the final five with voting not set to close until the end of November. The award will be presented on December 17 at the Mole Antonelliana in Turin.
The award is voted on by a group of 35 journalists representing several of the largest media outlets in Europe, who have until the end of the month to make their decision.
Mbappe, who had been favourite to land the award, continues to go from strength to strength, showing his class this season by netting 13 goals in 13 games.
Winning the prize would cap off another sensational 12 months for the French youngster after he won the domestic Treble with PSG and went on to play a pivotal role in France’s victorious World Cup campaign in Russia.
Alexander-Arnold also enjoyed a stellar breakthrough campaign at right back for Liverpool and his form saw him impress in the Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid in May.
Kluivert, the son of retired striker Patrick, is one of two Serie A starlets to have made the final cut. The Dutchman moved to Roma this summer in a deal worth £16.5m and has scored one goal in nine appearances.
Cutrone, meanwhile, has seen first-team opportunities limited at the San Siro this season following Gonzalo Higuain’s arrival. He has still managed to net five goals in 13 appearances though.
De Ligt is among the Ajax wonderkids who have been attracting interest from a host of elite European clubs recently. The ball-playing centre back has also just broken into the Holland national team.
Vinicius Junior finally linked up with Real Madrid in the summer and has become increasingly involved under new manager Santiago Solari. He has managed one goal in three La Liga appearances so far this season.
Previous winners include the likes of Paul Pogba, Isco, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi.