Manchester City lost out to PSG in the race to sign Kylian Mbappe, despite the striker being impressed by Pep Guardiola.
Kylian Mbappe turned down the opportunity to play under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City before he left Monaco for Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain.
One of the hottest properties in European football, Mbappe was targeted by the likes of Real Madrid, Arsenal and City before joining PSG on an initial loan move that is expected to be made permanent at the end of the season for €180million.
The 18-year-old met with Guardiola at a time when he was still intent on staying at Monaco and was impressed by the Spaniard’s passion for the game, but he opted against joining forces with the Premier League club rather than the manager.
“When the season finished in May, my idea was to stay. There was not another possibility in my head,” Mbappe told L’Equipe.
“When I met with some coaches, I told them, and they can confirm, that my priority is Monaco. And if Monaco does what I expect, I wouldn’t want to leave. After that, something happened and I changed my position.
“I didn’t say no to him [Guardiola] but I said no to Manchester City. When I saw him, we talked about tactics, how he could use me. That’s really a coach that feels football.
“He has won everywhere and transmits a passion to you. I love coaches that just talk about football. He’s like the [PSG] coach [Unai] Emery.”
Asked why he changed his mind regarding staying at Stade Louis II, Mbappe added: “I will take my time to explain that. Everybody asks and want to know why I changed my opinion, that’s logical. It’s important to explain these things. I will do it soon.”
The France international was expected to head to Madrid for much of the window, but plumped for Paris as he believed there would be greater opportunities for valuable minutes on the pitch.
“Here, I can continue to progress and play. What I want is to play, so you go to a club where you can do that,” Mbappe said.
“It’s not a question of being guaranteed to play. That’s bulls***. Nobody will write in your contract that you have the assurance to play. I just feel at Paris, I will have more chances compared to Madrid.
“I’m French and I choose a French team. People must be happy to keep a French player in the league.”