Former Barcelona director Javier Bordas has said that the club could have signed Kylian Mbappe before the striker moved to Paris Saint-Germain but decided to go for Ousmane Dembele instead.
The club brought in Dembele in summer 2017 for €105 million plus add-ons following Neymar’s shock departure to the Ligue 1 side. Bordas has explained Mbappe could have arrived for €100m but technical secretary Robert Fernandez preferred Dembele.
“Yes. When we were to sign Dembélé, Minguella called me to tell us that Mbappé was within reach. I spoke with 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 Barça because Neymar was not there.
“The president of Monaco preferred that he went to Barça so as not to reinforce PSG, a direct rival. And for 100 million it could have been done. But Robert preferred Dembélé and Pep Segura supported him. The explanation was that Mbappé plays for him and Dembélé plays for the team. And since a winger like Ney left, Robert preferred a winger more than a finisher.”
Source | Mundo Deportivo
Bordas also spoke about Barca’s attempts to bring back Neymar last year. The former director added “we were so close that Neymar thought he was coming, me too,” before the deal eventually broke down for financial reasons.