Ahead of Sunday’s 2018 World Cup Final, it’s a good time to recall Ryan Giggs revealing that Manchester United could have signed France superstar Kylian Mbappe for just £5m in 2016.
Mbappe’s reputation as one of the hottest properties in world football has been strengthened following a terrific campaign as France’s right winger, the position he’s set to play in as Didier Deschamps’ men face Croatia in Moscow for the iconic trophy.
The 19-year-old is in the running for the World Cup Golden Ball award, netting three goals on the road to the final including two against Argentina in the round of sixteen.
A year ago, Ryan Giggs spoke to The Times chief football correspondent Oliver Kay a few months after leaving Man United following a 29-year stint at the club as a player, coach and interim manager, about Mbappe’s rise at AS Monaco.
“I watched Mbappe play a year ago. I was watching him and Gabriel Jesus with the chief scout and it was a no-brainer. It was just like, ‘Get them’.
“It would have cost £5million or something – get them, loan them back – and that’s where the recruitment could have been better. I know what a Manchester United player looks like.”
Despite urging the club’s chiefs to go all out to secure the teenage wonder’s services, what would have been a major coup didn’t happen and he’s been tearing Ligue 1 up since.
Once he returns from the World Cup in Russia, he’s expected to turn his loan move at Paris-Saint Germain into a permanent stay for £166m, the record for a teenager.