Arsene Wenger believes Kylian Mbappe was close to joining Arsenal last year and insists the striker would have been just as successful if he decided to move to Manchester United or Real Madrid.
Paris Saint-Germain won the race to sign the 18-year-old this summer after agreeing a season-long loan with Monaco, which includes the option to make the deal permanent for €180 million (£166m).
Mbappe has confirmed that he did hold talks with Wenger over a move to Arsenal this summer.
But Wenger admits his side stood a better chance of signing the France international last year.
‘I believe that we were on the case last year already, he was close to joining us, maybe closer last year than this year because the competition to get him was a bit smaller than it is today,’ Wenger said in his press conference on Thursday.
‘I personally believe 90 per cent of the players their career depends completely on where they choose to go.
‘For 10 per cent they can go where they want and make a great career.
‘For me he’s in the 10 per cent – he could close his eyes, and go to Arsenal, Real Madrid or Manchester United and have a great career because he is exceptional.’