Former Italian defender Andrea Barzagli claimed that he once pushed Juventus club officials to sign Kylian Mbappe in 2017.
Over the notable 2017 summer transfer window, Mbappe was deemed as the next generational talent in world football, which thus had plenty of teams vying to sign him from AS Monaco.
Mbappe raised his stock following his performances for Monaco over the 2016-2017 UEFA Champions League knockout stage, where he scored key goals against the likes of Juventus and Borussia Dortmund.
Barzagli featured in Juventus’ Champions League semifinal tie against Mbappe’s Monaco side that season, and he was left with a stark first impression after facing the coveted French forward.
In speaking to the Italian-based outlet Tuttosport, Barzagli reflected on just what it was like to defend against Mbappe and how he pushed Juventus club officials to go all out to sign him.
“I remember like it was yesterday the feeling I had in Monte Carlo against the 18-year-old Mbappe,” Barzagli said. “He was going three thousand miles an hour. At the end of the game, I went to [Fabio] Paratici and I said, ‘what are we waiting for, take him’.
“He made me understand that everyone already wanted him and that it was almost impossible to approach Mbappe.”
Mbappe ended up joining PSG over the 2017 summer transfer window, but one could speculate on whether he could have signed with Juventus instead had the Serie A giants made a grand push to haul him in.