Revealed: Barcelona turned down Mbappe and 'preferred' Dembele
France’s forward Kylian Mbappe runs for the ball during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group H qualification football match between France and Iceland at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on March 25, 2019. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP)

Barcelona turned down the chance to sign Kylian Mbappe in 2017 and instead chose to sign Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund.

The Frenchman went on to join PSG following an impressive breakthrough campaign at Monaco.

The Catalans saw Dembele as more of a team player and chose to invest the money from Neymar’s sale in him, rather than Mbappe.

It is a decision that has come back to haunt them with Dembele’s time in Spain hampered by injures.

In contrast Mbappe has gone on to become one of the world’s leading lights and scored 97 goals in 132 appearances.

But the Barcelona board were in agreement that they were better off pursuing Dembele, who ended up costing them £97m.

“When we were to sign Dembele, agent Josep Maria Minguella called me to tell us Mbappe was within reach,” Bordas told Mundo Deportivo .

Revealed: Barcelona turned down Mbappe and 'preferred' Dembele
Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele celebrates scoring their second goal [REUTERS/Sergio Perez]

“I spoke with Josep Maria Bartomeu and he told me to look at him.

“I called Mbappe’s father and he told me that we was not going to go to Real Madrid because Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale were there and that instead he could go to Barca because Neymar had left.

“The president of Monaco preferred that he signed for Barcelona so as not to reinforced PSG, a direct rival. And it could have been done for €100m (£90m/$118m).

“Robert preferred Dembele and Pep Segura supported him. The explanation was that Mbappe plays for himself and Dembele plays for the team, and since a winger like Ney had left, Robert preferred a winger more than a finisher.”

Dembele’s injury record means he has been unable to truly establish himself at the Nou Camp.

He was rumoured to be on the move to Manchester United in the summer transfer window with a loan move touted.

Barcelona are keen to raise funds for manager Ronald Koeman and it is understood that Dembele could still be offloaded in a cut price deal.

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