Arsenal Boss Arsene Wenger Admits He Wanted Kylian Mbappe But €180m Fee Was 'Too Much'
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he wanted to sign Kylian Mbappe in this summer's transfer window, but claimed the €180m fee was 'too much.'
The 18-year-old emerged Europe's most in-demand youngster last season, scoring 26 goals in 44 games for Ligue 1 champions Monaco.
The French international was linked with a number of top clubs this summer, and last week joined Paris Saint-Germain on loan with an obligation to make the deal permanent for €180m.
Wenger has revealed that Arsenal were amongst the sides interested in Mbappe, but Monaco's demands proved too much of a stretch.
"I wanted him too," Wenger told Telefoot when asked about Mbappe. "But €180m is too much for us.
"He could become the next Pele. He has no limits. He's only 18 and is going to be stronger. He has a balanced game for a striker, he scores and gives the chance to score to his team-mates. It's the quality of great players."
Arsenal also missed out on Mbappe's former teammate Thomas Lemar, who opted to stay at Monaco after the Gunners' £92m deadline day bid was accepted.
Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal attempted to sign the 21-year-old for what would have been a club record fee, and that they will make another approach when the window reopens.
"€100m for Lemar? Yes all true, I wanted him," Wenger said. "He decided to stay at Monaco."
He added: "We will come back for him."
Arsenal appeared set to sell last season's top scorer Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City on deadline day, but the deal hinged on their late bid for Lemar.