LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick says the club almost signed French star Kylian Mbappe when he was 16 and relatively unknown.
Rangnick tells German daily Bild “We had Kylian Mbappe all but signed” when the club was still playing in Germany’s second division.
Rangnick says, “The problem was we had just parted ways with Alexander Zorniger. . We didn’t know at the time who would be our coach and how it would continue.”
Rangnick says Mbappe’s father told him if he could assure him “that I would be coach, that he would entrust me with the boy immediately. But I couldn’t give him that promise already in February (2015).”
Mbappe stayed at Monaco, making his debut at the end of 2015.
He has since taken the football world by storm, and became the world’s second most expensive player after joining Paris Saint-Germain in a deal worth 180 million euros ($216 million).