Football

How Kylian Mbappe’s botched signing by Barcelona saved his career

PSG shortlist Liverpool's Salah as replacement for Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe. PHOTO: The Independent

How much do you believe in fate? Well, if you don’t, Kylian Mbappe’s botched signing by Barcelona in 2017 saved him from the unexpected. Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu lays it all bare.

Bartomeu’s tenure was not glorious and ended acrimoniously with resignation in 2020. And one thing that he carries with him to date is that Camp Nou erred in picking Ousmane Dembele over Mbappe.

Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele. Photo/ Inside Futbol

Why Barcelona Signed Ousmane Dembele Instead Of Mbappe

The former Barca president recently revealed that Dembele seemed a better fit compared to Mbappe. His addition to Camp Nou was expected to light up things at Barcelona but all this is a mirage.

Therefore, the once-upon-a-time La Liga giants poached him from Borussia Dortmund coughing out £124 million. The transfer deal was seen through by former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde together with his coaching staff.

But, Bartomeu was never for the Frenchman being signed by his club. He let Valverde and his team have their way, nonetheless.

The disgraced ex-Barcelona president told AS the following regarding Mbappe’s botched signing by Barcelona:

“[Mbappe’s] signing was on the table, but the coaches preferred Dembele because they wanted a player to open the field.”

Although the decision on who to sign wasn’t his to make, Dembele’s signing compounded his woes at the club. It was Camp Nou’s worst-ever signing that cost an arm and a leg.

Ousmane Dembele Fails To Live Up To Barcelona’s Expectations

While Mbappe remains as fit as a fiddle, Dembele has failed to live up to Barcelona’s expectations due to a series of injuries. His performance is far from the waning La Liga giants’ expectations when it comes to opening up the pitch.

The French forward has battled debilitating injuries in the last four years while Mbappe rises to the top of Paris Saint-German (PSG) charts. Mbappe is one of the three most valuable players at PSG.

Dembele, 24, has scored 21 goals for Barcelona in 118 matches. Mbappe whose professional debut came in 2016, has 138 goals out of 198 matches he has played since then.

In the 2018/19 season, Mbappe scored 33 goals for the French Ligue 1 club. He netted 18 more in the 2019/2020 season.

Does Ousmane Dembele Have A Future With Barcelona?

It is a hard nut to crack. Firstly, it is not clear if Dembele will renew his contract in 2022 summer with Barcelona when his contract expires.

He has shown up for two training sessions recently but is not among the squad picked to clash with Rayo Vallecano at Vallecas Wednesday. In a twist though, Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman says the club wouldn’t want to lose the forward.

“The most important thing is that we want him to stay,” Koeman told the press at a pre-match conference.

Speaking of his contract renewal, Koeman said, “He is key and has quality. The goal is for him to renew.”

“Another thing is if he doesn’t want to renew. We have to talk as a club about the best way to deal with it. We haven’t yet talked about what our strategy will be if he doesn’t renew.

Kylian Mbappe Botched Signing With Real Madrid From PSG

Admittedly, Mbappe is an asset to PSG but he made his intent to move to Real Madrid in the last summer transfer window. But Le Parc des Princes wouldn’t let him go.

In an interview with RMS Sport, Mbappe says he decided to notify PSG of his intention to move to Real Madrid early enough. He notes that he was genuine that he wanted the French Ligue 1 Club to earn good sums of money from his transfer.

This is the second twist after Mbappe’s botched signing by Barcelona years back.

Mbappe PSG transfer

Kylian Mbappe. Photo/ Courtesy

Real Madrid was in talks with his PSG for weeks and made the last offer of £171.6m (€200m) hours before the closure of the summer transfer window.

However, PSG remained mum and the deadline lapsed. There was no response to the Spanish club’s offer.

This is despite Real offering a further £8.57m (€10m) in add-ons according to Sky Sports. There is a good chance that Frenchman will remain at PSG until next summer in January.

Then, Real Madrid will sign a pre-contract with PSG on his transfer. Mbappe could still be ready to move on a free transfer in January 2022.

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