Kylian Mbappe has revealed he turned down Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to sign for boyhood club Paris St Germain.
The 18-year-old France international striker, Mbappe who was on Wednesday unveiled as a PSG player, rebuffed all other interest to return to the French capital.
Mbappe grew up in Paris and completed his footballing education with Monaco before joining the Parc des Princes club on loan, with a deal in place for him to make the move permanent next summer for £166m.
Mbappe admitted to Arsenal’s interest, telling the Daily Telegraph: “Yes, I met with Arsene Wenger, who is a great coach.
He has a great reputation here in France, he’s well-respected and knows how to develop young players. This was a real option for me. But, of course, Paris St Germain was the main option.”
Mbappe opted to work under coach Unai Emery in a front line also featuring fellow summer signing Neymar.
Mbappe added: “We weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of all the clubs but my family told me it had to be my decision and one I needed to make.
It also had to be a long-term decision. So it was up to me and I decided to come here in order to develop.”
As a child Mbappe had supported PSG and that made his decision a lot easier.
“Being here is like going back home for me. I used to come to this stadium when I was a boy to watch games.”
Mbappe talked fondly of training with Chelsea for a week at the age of 11, playing in a game alongside Tammy Abraham and Jeremie Boga, currently both on loan at Swansea and Birmingham respectively.
“It was a wonderful experience,” he said. “Chelsea was the first great club, the first big club, that I went to visit.
So it was a real discovery for me. I was coming from my grassroots, amateur club. It was a whole new world.
Of course I had an idea what a great football club was like but I was really impressed by the working culture and the mentality of wanting to be better day-in, day-out.
“And visiting this infrastructure helped me, actually, with my development. I saw things differently because up until then I had just a French mentality and after that I could pick what was positive in other mentalities and build my own.”
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