Kylian Mbappe reveals Arsene Wenger tried to persuade him to join Arsenal last year
What's this? Arsene Wenger trying and failing to sign a player for Arsenal who turned out to be really, really good? Nah, surely not...
During his time as Arsenal boss, it's estimated Wenger attempted to sign at least 30% of the 7.7bn people on planet earth. Kylian Mbappe, it's now emerged, was one of them.
Having exploded onto the scene with Monaco a couple of years ago, Mbappe, the inaugural winner of the Trophée Kopa, signed for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017. Had things worked out differently, however, he might have been plying his trade in north London.
Speaking to France Football [via Get Football News France] after picking up his latest award, the 19-year-old confirmed that Arsenal were very much in the frame to sign him from Monaco the other summer.
Paying tribute to Wenger, Mbappe explained that Wenger gracefully accepted his decision to reject a move to Arsenal in favour of a move to Paris.
"He is a real French football monument who has left Arsenal," he is quoted as saying. "I have not seen many people in this world being viewed in such a unanimous way.
"When the entirety of Europe gets on its knees in front of him to celebrate him, that certainly means something.
"A little while ago, before I signed for PSG, we were in contact in 2017. I chose a different direction but he wasn’t annoyed at me. He was a gentleman about it and wished me good luck."
Mbappe was also complimentary about Arsenal's current boss, Unai Emery, who was in charge at PSG during his first season at Parc des Princes.
"I do not forget that he helped me adapt to this big team, which was not easy. I have a lot of respect for this man even if he did it not succeed in Paris.
"He won titles before and I hope he wins them again after. I sent him a congratulatory message when he signed for Arsenal, and now, I am following from afar."