Kylian Mbappe decision to turn down Arsenal offer was 'very, very tight', reveals Arsene Wenger

Samuel Lovett
The Independent
Mbappe has scored 22 goals from 36 appearances this season: Getty
Mbappe has scored 22 goals from 36 appearances this season: Getty

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal were a whisker away from signing Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe last year.

The Frenchman confirmed that he visited the forward’s home in a bid to bring him to the Emirates but fell agonisingly short in his pursuit, describing Mbappe’s eventual decision to stay at Monaco as “very, very tight”.

Mbappe has established himself as one of the most sought-after talents in Europe since cementing his place in Leonardo Jardim’s side this season, scoring a total of 22 goals from 36 outings to date.

The youngster had already caught the eye of Wenger last year, however, after breaking Thierry Henry’s record as the club’s youngster scorer when he netted against Troyes.

At that time, the French manager was in the process of trying to lure the player to the Emirates Stadium.

“The player would tell you that I was at his home last year to try to get him here,” he told beIN Sport .

“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.”

Wengr admitted last month that Arsenal are continuing to keep tabs on Mbappe and will attempt to sign him in the summer, but accepts that the club may be priced out of the market by the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United.

“Of course [we're targeting Mbappe],” Wenger told French TV channel SFR Sport. “It would be hypocritical and a lie to say we're not following him.

Mbappe is in high demand across Europe (AFP/Getty)
Mbappe is in high demand across Europe (AFP/Getty)

"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.

“So, I don't know what his deep aspirations [are] but maybe the best thing for him is to stay one more year at Monaco.”

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