Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he was a whisker away from signing Kylian Mbappe from Monaco last year.
The 18-year-old has caught the eye since becoming a first-team regular at Stade Louis II, scoring 24 times in 39 outings this season, earning himself a maiden France international call in the process.
He was already on the radar in March 2016 as he had broken Thierry Henry’s record of being his club’s youngest scorer by netting against Troyes, and at that time Wenger was trying to lure him to the Emirates Stadium.
“The player would tell you that I was at his home last year to try to get him here,” the manager 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.”
In previous weeks, Wenger has suggested that Arsenal may not have the financial muscle to sign the player given the current market, but he refused to rule it out as impossible.
“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.
“So, I don't know what is his deep aspirations but maybe the best thing for him is to stay one more year at Monaco.”
Mbappe was part of the Monaco team that lost 2-0 to Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie.