Arsene Wenger revealed to beIN Sports in May the lengths he went to try to sign AS Monaco’s rising star Kylian Mbappe last summer.
“The player would tell you that I was at his home last year to try to get him here,” Wenger said, via the Independent.
“Because he was at the end of [his] contract but Monaco managed to keep him and the decision was very, very tight.
“But I could understand it as well because he was educated there and at the end decided to stay there.”
Wenger will be gutted he didn’t manage to seal the deal. Mbappe enjoyed a terrific campaign for Monaco, scoring 26 goals in all competitions and asserting himself as one of the brightest young talents in football.
Mbappe is in demand
As a result, Mbappe is now wanted by all of the biggest clubs in Europe, something Wenger is aware of.
He admitted to French TV channel SFR Sport that Arsenal are still interested in the 18-year-old, but they’re not the only one.
“Of course [we're targeting Mbappe],” Wenger said. “It would be hypocritical and a lie to say we're not following him.
"Can Arsenal get him? I don't know, that's down to him. You know certainly as I do that today he will decide where he goes and say: Real Madrid? Maybe. Barcelona? Maybe. Arsenal? Manchester? He can go where he wants.
“He's perhaps already in the category of clubs who perhaps have more financial potential than us.”
Arsenal have reportedly made a huge bid
Still, that doesn’t seem to have stopped Wenger trying to sign the striker who has drawn comparisons to Thierry Henry.
According to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, the Gunners have made a €100 million (£87m) bid for Mbappe.
L’Equipe are a reputable source so their sensational report shouldn’t be scoffed at.
They claim that Arsenal have identified Alexandre Lacazette, who will leave Lyon this summer, as a backup option.
It’s incredibly exciting news for Arsenal supporters. Mbappe’s potential is clear for everyone to see and the north London club, who finished outside of the top four for the first time under Wenger this season, need to make a big statement this summer.
There are three problems with Arsenal's reported bid
Yet there are a few problems with L’Equipe’s report.
The first is that Monaco have already rejected a bid of £103m for Mbappe from Real Madrid, according to the Telegraph.
So why would they say yes to Arsenal’s bid, which is £16m less?
Mbappe wants Madrid
Secondly, Marca reported last month that Mbappe wants to play for Madrid. The France international admires Zinedine Zidane and is excited by the current project at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Thirdly, Monaco know that they don’t have to sell. In the French champion’s eyes, Mbappe is priceless.
“Mbappe has no price,” Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev told Gazzetta dello Sport in May, per Goal. “He is like a son.
“We are proud that he is already at this level with our jersey. We would like him to stay and I think he also wants that.”
So, while reports that Wenger is ready to loosen his purse strings is exciting for Arsenal supporters, they might want to hold off from purchasing their ‘Mbappe’ jerseys for now.
Where will Kylian Mbappe end up? Let us know in the comments section below!
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