BARCELONA chose to sign Ousmane Dembele over Kylian Mbappe, the club’s former director Javier Bordas revealed.
Barcelona could have bought Kylian Mbappe instead of his France team-mate Ousmane DembeleCredit: EPA
Former Barca director Javier BardasCredit: Getty Images – Getty
But Bordas has now claimed they could have signed Dembele’s compatriot and Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe, 21, instead.
Mbappe was still with Monaco at the time and Barca’s former exec suggested he could have been lured to the Nou Camp for around £90m.
As it turned out Mbappe left for Ligue 1 rivals PSG instead, first on loan in 2017 before making the move permanent for £108m the following year.
In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Bordas said: “Yes, when we were ready to sign Dembele, [Josep Maria] Minguella called me to tell us that Mbapppe was within reach.
“I spoke with [Josep Maria] Bartomeu and he told me to look at him.
“I called his father and he told me that he was not going to go to Madrid because Cristiano, Benzema and Bale were there and instead he could go to Barca because Neymar was not there.
“The president of Monaco preferred for him to go to Barca so as not to strengthen PSG, a direct rival.
“And for 100 million euros it could have been done.
“But Robert preferred Dembele and Pep Segura supported him.
“The explanation was that Mbappe plays for himself and Dembele plays for the team.
“And since a winger like Ney[mar] left, Robert preferred a winger more than a finisher.”
But if they could do things over, Barcelona are sure to have changed their mind after Dembele’s torrid run with injuries and Mbappe’s sensational goalscoring.
Since moving to the French capital, Mbappe has scored 97 goals in 132 games in all competitions.
While Dembele has mustered just 22 goals in 82 games and is reportedly up for sale in January as cash-strapped Barca look to recoup some of his handsome transfer fee.
Manchester United are said to be interested in landing the forward – who turned down a move to Old Trafford on deadline day – for a cut-price £45m.
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