Barcelona were very close to signing Kylian Mbappe in the summer, but Arda Turan’s refusal to join Monaco blocked the deal.
Mbappe’s transfer saga made the headlines for a period in the summer, with the player eventually choosing to join PSG. The Ligue 1 vice-champions took the player on loan for a season, in order not to break the FFP regulations. However, PSG are obliged to pay €180m to Monaco next summer for the player.
Mbappe has already impressed at his new team, scoring six goals and providing six assists in 14 matches. However, the young striker’s career path could have been very different. According to L’Equipe, Mbappe was very very close to moving to Barcelona and it was only a matter of hours for the transfer to happen.
L’Equipe published a documentary called ‘Kylian Mbappe – Hors Normes’ (Kylian Mbappe – Out of the ordinary), in which they presented the details of the negotiations between Barcelona and AS Monaco. In the night between 30 and 31st of August, the two clubs reached an agreement regarding the transfer of the player. The 18-year-old also agreed to join the Catalans and was already on his way to a plane that was about to take him to Barcelona.
The Catalans agreed to pay a transfer fee and send Arda Turan to Monaco. But this is where things got complicated. According to the report, the Turkish player refused to move to Monaco. The Catalans tried their best to persuade Arda Turan to accept a transfer to AS Monaco but failed and therefore Mbappe’s move to Camp Nou broke down.
At that moment, the PSG option was not a valid one for Mbappe. Monaco did not want to allow the player to move to their Ligue 1 rivals, especially considering the fact that they have just bought Neymar from Barcelona for €222m.
Frustrated by the failed move to Barcelona, Mbappe asked to be allowed to leave and AS Monaco had no way but to accept PSG’s offer, who fast-forwarded the negotiations and signed the player on the transfer deadline day.