Former Barcelona Board Member Explains the Club’s Decision To Pass on Mbappé for Dembélé

In what seems like a tell-all interview with Mundo Deportivothe former FC Barcelona board member, Javier Bordas, discussed when the Spanish club made the efforts to buy Kylian Mbappé from AS Monaco during the summer transfer window of 2017. 

Ultimately Barça decided not to pay €180-million that Paris Saint-Germain paid for the teenager’s transfer. Despite having the €222-million that the capital club used to trigger Neymar Jr.’s release clause, Barça opted for another France international winger, Ousmane Dembélé. 

According to Bordas, Barça had a €100-million transfer bid ready to send to Monaco for Mbappé. However, the director of football, Robert Fernández, preferred Dembélé because he was a winger that could replace the departing Neymar. 

With Mbappé playing in a striker partnership with Radamel Falcao at Monaco, Bordas explains that Barça didn’t need a striker with Luis Suárez already taking up that position. 

“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,” Bordas said.

“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.”

Hindsight is always 20/20, but Real Madrid not being a factor in the pursuit because of who occupied the forward positions. Barça’s decision to pass on Mbappé opened the door for PSG to bring the France international home. 

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Tags Barcelona Javier Bordas Kylian Mbappé Ousmane Dembele
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