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Former Barcelona director Bordas: Why Dembele was signed ahead of Mbappe

Former Barcelona director Javier Bordas has spoken of missing out on PSG star Kylian Mbappe.

Bordas worked for the club between 2010 and 2020 - and was heavily involved in the club's transfer work - including their swoop for Ousmane Dembele. Bordas was assisting fellow directors Pep Segura and Robert Fernandez at the time.

Robert was football chief three years ago when Barca signed Dembele from Borussia Dortmund. The fee involved was €105m up front, with a further €40m due in bonuses.

However, Bordas says at the same time another deal could've been struck - and for cheaper. Mbappe had become available from AS Monaco - and his father was eager to see him join the Catalans ahead of Spanish rivals Real Madrid.

Further adding to Barca's advantage was Monaco, which were reluctant to sell to Mbappe to PSG, where the France international would eventually go.

But as Bordas revealed, internally there was push-back to the Mbappe deal. He told Mundo Deportivo via AS: "When we were to sign Dembélé, (agent Josep Maria) Minguella called me to tell us that Mbappé was within range. I spoke with (former president Josep Maria) Bartomeu and he told me to look at him. I called his father and he told me that he was not going to Real Madrid because Cristiano (Ronaldo), (Karim) Benzema and (Gareth) Bale were there and instead he could go to Barça because Neymar was not there.

"The president of Monaco preferred him to go to Barça so as not to reinforce PSG, a direct rival. And for 100 million it could have been done. But Robert (Fernandez) preferred Dembélé and Pep Segura supported him. The explanation was that Mbappé plays for himself and Dembélé plays for the team. And since a winger like Ney left, Robert preferred a winger more than a finisher."


- updated November 17

Carlos Volcano
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