Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has explained why Kylian Mbappe chose PSG over Arsenal and Real Madrid.
The Kylian Mbappe saga was one of the most drawn-out of the summer, with his £165m move to PSG only being concluded on the final day.
Arsenal were involved in the early stages, with reports of an £87m bid going in and Arsene Wenger meeting with the player’s family to try and convince him to join.
However, going by Al-Khelaifi’s words, it would have taken a minor miracle to convince Mbappe to choose Arsenal. “It was very competitive, trust me,” the Paris Saint-Germain chief told the Telegraph via the Metro.
“Some other clubs offered him more than us. Every big club wanted him. But we explained to him our project and the ambition of the club and he’s French, he’s a Parisian and he had the club in his heart.
“He wanted to stay in France and defends the French colours in the Champions League. It’s deep inside him. He wants to write history here and he has history here already – you saw the pictures of him [at his unveiling] when he was here 10 years ago?
“A picture does not lie. He loves the club and it’s his dream to play for Paris Saint-Germain.” Money undoubtedly plays a part in all this, but it’s also undeniable that PSG’s football project is a lot more exciting than Arsenal’s.
They’re a club with a serious ambition of winning the Champions League and aren’t afraid to throw around some ludicrously huge fees to accomplish that. The likes of Neymar and Mbappe will eventually cost them around £370m.
Arsenal might have been a good stepping-stone for the latter but aren’t chasing major honours with the same single-minded determination or efficiency. It seems Paris Saint-Germain ticked a lot of boxes for Mbappe, and he’ll be there for many years to come.