Kylian Mbappe was close to signing for Arsenal, says Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal were close to signing Kylian Mbappe last year but the competition was too high this summer.

Arsene Wenger has revealed Arsenal were close to signing Kylian Mbappe last year, and attempted to convince the France international to join this summer before his loan move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappe, who scored 26 goals last season as Monaco were crowned French champions, will spend this campaign on loan with PSG before completing a £165m permanent move next summer.

The 18-year-old admitted on Wednesday that he held talks in the summer over a proposed move to the Emirates prior to his switch to PSG and Wenger feels Arsenal nearly pulled off a transfer coup.

Kylian Mbappe poses for the media at Parc des Princes after making the switch from Ligue 1 rivals Monaco
Image: Mbappe will complete a £165m permanent move to PSG next summer

"Well, I believe that we were on the case last year," said Wenger ahead of Saturday's Premier League home match against Bournemouth.

"He was close to joining us, maybe closer last year than this year because the competition was a bit smaller than it is today.

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"I personally think for 90 per cent of players, their careers depend on where they choose to go. But for 10 per cent of players, they can choose where they want and they will make a great career.

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"He is in the 10 per cent. He can close his eyes and chose "I'll go here, I'll go there" to Madrid, to Arsenal, to Manchester United and he'll have a great career, he's an exceptional football player."

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