Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal were close to signing Kylian Mbappe last year.
Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal were close to signing Mbappe last year. However, for whatever reason, it didn’t work out.
“I believe that we were on the case last year and he was close. Maybe closer last year than this,” Wenger said ahead of Arsenal’s clash against Bournemouth.
“I believe for 10% of players they can go where they want and make a great career. For me he is in the 10%.
“He could close his eyes and choose Madrid, Arsenal, United and he would have a great career. He’s an exceptional player.”
The 18-year-old Monaco striker finally signed for Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-German on loan at the end of August in a massive deal complete with an eye-watering £165m obligation to buy clause next year.
I’m not sure if Wenger admitting that Arsenal lost out on yet another star in the making is supposed to placate Gooners over the club’s lack of transfer activity or not…
While it was always clear that the Gunners were never going to pay £100m+ for a player, Mbappe would have had to agree to come to north London in the first place, and while that sounds like something that interested the teenager a year ago, this summer he obviously had other plans.
Mbappe scored 27 goals and assisted 15 in 44 appearances for Monaco last term but due to the international break, which saw him score for France against the Netherlands, the teenager is yet to play his first match for PSG.
The French club also forked out £200m for Neymar this summer.