What stopped Kylian Mbappe signing for Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea

Kylian Mbappe was close to joining several Premier League clubs back in the day (Image: Getty)

Kylian Mbappe could have been a Premier League legend had things gone a little differently a few years back. The PSG superstar had offers for him coming out the wazzoo while shining in France’s famed Clairefontaine football academy as a youngster, with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid all desperate to snap him up.

It didn’t take long for Mbappe’s coaches and suitors to recognise his immense potential, but with the help of his family, the young forward managed to keep his feet on the ground. They hatched a development plan, one that would ideally see him remain in France, but more importantly, see him join the very best academy, rather than the very best club.

Speaking on the recently-released BBC documentary, Mbappe, French football journalist Julien Laurens explained: “Clubs from all over Europe would [tell Mbappe] ‘come to us’. [But] it was never about the prestige of the club, because he could have gone to Real Madrid, to Chelsea, to Arsenal, to Manchester United. It was always about good academy, good coaches, and in the end, chose Monaco.”

Legendary Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: “You know at one point I tried to convince him to come to Arsenal. I was at his home with his parents. He was a happy boy. He just wanted to play football and had the passion for the game.”

It wasn’t just Wenger who made a big push to sign Mbappe. In 2012, the goalscorer was invited to London to do a week’s trial in Chelsea’s academy. The Blues were eager to sign, but wanted him to stick around for another week before offering him a deal, at which point Mbappe’s mother allegedly offered the club an ultimatum: sign my boy now or we’re going back to France. Chelsea opted for the latter.

Similarly, a sizeable charm offensive was launched by Zinedine Zidane, who was sporting director of Real Madrid at the time. But the Mbappes chose Monaco instead. After joining the principality side in 2013, Mbappe quickly rose through the ranks and made his debut for the club’s reserve team, Monaco II, in 2015.

A few months later, he made his bow for the senior team aged just 16, becoming Monaco’s youngest-ever player in the process, breaking the record Thierry Henry had set 21 years earlier.

Arsene Wenger visited Kylian Mbappe’s home to try and convince the youngster to join Arsenal (Image: Getty)

He scored just once in 14 appearances in his first senior campaign, but exploded onto the scene in the 2016/17 season with 26 goals in 44 games, which helped fire Monaco to their first Ligue 1 title since 2000 as well as to the Champions League semi-final. Naturally, clubs across Europe were, once again, queueing up to sign him that summer, and PSG eventually won the race.

The capital club initially signed him on loan, but the deal included a mandatory £154million purchace option, which was activated the following summer. As such, Mbappe became the most expensive teenager of all time, and the second-most expensive footballer of all time behind Neymar, who joined PSG for £198m a few weeks earlier.

In the years since, the 25-year-old has smashed a staggering 256 goals in 307 games, becoming not only the highest goalscorer in PSG history, but also the highest goalscorer in Ligue 1 history this side of the Millennium.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1900002/Kylian-Mbappe-Arsenal-Man-Utd-Chelsea-PSG