Kylian Mbappe confirms joining Arsenal was a real option
Paris Saint-Germain new boy Kylian Mbappe has confirmed that he had the chance to join Arsenal in the summer transfer window.
The France international, aged 18, said signing for the Gunners was a real option after discussions with manager Arsene Wenger. But the lure of a return to his hometown meant he ultimately left Monaco for PSG.
He described his switch to Parc des Princes as a long-term decision that would aid his development, though he did also praise Wenger’s reputation and ability to develop young players.
Mbappe told the Daily Telegraph: “Yes, I met with Arsene Wenger, who is a great coach. He has a great reputation here in France, he’s well-respected and knows how to develop young players. This was a real option for me. But, of course, Paris Saint-Germain was the main option.
“We weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of all the clubs but my family told me it had to be my decision and one I needed to make. It also had to be a long-term decision. So it was up to me and I decided to come here in order to develop.”
Mbappe joined PSG on an initial season-long loan deal last week. The Ligue 1 side are then obliged to pay their domestic rivals Monaco a fee of €180m (£165m), which comprises €145m plus add-ons, to finalise the transfer next summer.
The loan move is thought to be an effort by PSG to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play rules having already broken the world transfer record to sign Neymar from Barcelona.