A secret meeting between Arsenal and Kylian Mbappe  to discuss transfers.


A secret meeting between Arsenal and Kylian Mbappe  to discuss transfers. Long before Kylian Mbappe signed his first professional contract, Arsene Wenger made great efforts to convince his parents that Arsenal was the appropriate club for him.

In an attempt to sign Kylian Mbappe to Arsenal, Arsene Wenger visited with his parents privately at their house.

The legendary manager Wenger had seen in Mbappe, a fellow Frenchman, the world-class potential at an early age. The teenager had been admitted to their national football center, Clairefontaine, in the same vein as former forwards Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka for the Gunners.

Knowing he was talented, Wenger pleaded for him to be brought to England in 2013. In 2013, Wenger returned to his native country to talk face-to-face with Mbappe’s parents, Fayza and Wilfried.

He recalled the exchange in the recent BBC documentary Mbappe, saying: “You know, there was a time when I attempted to persuade him to join Arsenal. His parents and I were at his house. He was a content boy. He was passionate about the game and wanted to play football.” 

Wenger was by no means the only person with an interest. However, French football journalist Julien Laurens clarified that he would always stay in familiar surroundings; therefore, none of the European heavyweights stood a chance.

“Sending Kylian to develop his game outside of France was never part of the plan,” Laurens said. Clubs from throughout Europe would welcome you to join them. The club’s reputation was never an issue because he could join Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, or any other team. Good instructors and an excellent academy were always necessary, and ultimately, he decided on Monaco.”

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Wenger persisted there, rekindling his curiosity about the eventual World Cup victor who had started lighting up the globe at Monaco. In 2016, after a three-year break, talks resumed. 

Mbappe was targeted by Arsene Wenger on multiple occasions ( Image: AFP/Getty Images)

However, as he signed his first professional deal with Monaco, his attempts to improve were once more fruitless. Former Arsenal player turned scout Gilles Grimandi called it “the biggest disappointment” of his 15 years in the position.

“We met his parents in London who came to the training ground, and alongside Arsene and Richard Law [then transfer chief], we traveled to meet Kylian in the South of France,” he previously told Ladbrokes Fanzone.

He turned down the project and inked a new contract with Monaco, but we tried, and I don’t think we were that far away from landing him. Not being able to convince Kylian Mbappe to join Arsenal is the biggest letdown of my fifteen years as a team scout. 

Mbappe, who confirmed his exit from PSG this summer, has once again been linked to Arsenal, but it appears he will sign a free agency contract with Real Madrid, who have long been his admirers.

Credit: Mirror