Wenger reveals Arsenal were on verge of signing PSG's £175m star Kylian Mbappe for FREE when he was a Monaco teen

ARSENE WENGER has revealed Arsenal were on the verge of signing Kylian Mbappe on a FREE transfer when he was just a teenager at Monaco.

The former Gunners boss, 71, has become infamous for his hoard of missed superstar signings during his 22-year reign.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, N'Golo Kante and Gerard Pique are just a handful of near-misses during his North London stint.

But one that really seemed to sting was missing out on £175million Real Madrid target Mbappe – who is now well on his way to becoming an all-time great – in 2016.

During Wednesday night's coverage of the Champions League, Wenger opened up to BeIN Sports.

The Frenchman said: "We can talk about Mbappe, I was at his home when he was undecided whether to extend his contract with Monaco.

"He could have come to Arsenal for free. I would say every club is full of histories like that.

"You go to Milan, to Manchester, Arsenal, Chelsea there are these kind of stories everywhere."

But it's not the first time Wenger has opened up on missing out on the now-22-year-old wonderkid.

In 2017, the ex-Gunners chief said: "The player would tell you that I was at his home last year to try to get him here.


“He was at the end of his contract but Monaco managed to keep him and the decision was very, very tight.

“But I could understand it as well because he was educated there and at the end decided to stay there.”

Mbappe did indeed confirm Arsenal's interest. In 2018, he said: "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.

"I dream of being managed by Wenger. He is French, he's had a great career and now he is free because he has left Arsenal.

"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."

Mbappe scored a hat-trick in Paris Saint-Germain's 4-1 win at Barcelona on Tuesday night in the Champions League last-16 first-leg, as he and Erling Haaland prepare to become the 'new Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi'.

And Wenger has urged the French giants to focus their attention on tying him down to a new contract with his deal set to expire in 2022 instead of making a move for soon-to-be free agent Lionel Messi..

He said: "Mbappe is free in 2022. If he does not extend in 2021 PSG has to sell Mbappe or he will be completely free in 2022.

"And they have to extend Neymar and Mbappe together. And it looks like that will be financially very very expensive.

"And the question PSG has to answer, can they convince the two? And do they have the money to do it? Because they need to sign the two together.

"Messi demands a huge investment and I would say PSG today is more focussed on keeping their two best players and investing all the money they have into their two best players.

"Mbappe is 22 maybe the future best player in the world so when you have the next two best players in the world, keep them."

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