The Spaniard, who was in charge at Parc des Princes when the talented striker joined, admits the World Cup winner is tempted by the Blancos
Kylian Mbappe was “seriously thinking about going to Real Madrid” during Unai Emery’s reign at Paris Saint-Germain, the Spaniard has revealed, with the World Cup winner needing to be talked into staying put.
PSG won that transfer tussle, with Mbappe moving to Parc des Princes in the same summer as Neymar made a record-breaking switch to France.
The 21-year-old has starred for the Ligue 1 champions, recording 94 goals through 128 appearances, and remains on the recruitment radars of leading sides across Europe.
Madrid are forever in the market for players that fit their ‘Galactico’ mould and have seen a fresh raid for Mbappe mooted as they piece together plans for upcoming windows.
Emery admits that the Liga giants hold plenty of appeal to the France international forward, with PSG having had to fight hard to keep the prized asset on their books.
The coach who spent two years with PSG between 2016 and 2018 told Radio Marca: “When I was in Paris, Mbappe was seriously thinking about going to Real Madrid because he likes them a lot, he was very excited to play for Madrid.
“I didn’t want him to leave and I had a conversation with him and his father to convince him that he had to stay, leaving PSG is not easy.”
While Mbappe’s services were retained by PSG, Emery was ushered through the exits as Thomas Tuchel was brought on board.
He went on to take in an ill-fated spell as Arsene Wenger’s successor at Arsenal before returning to his homeland at Villarreal in the summer of 2020.
Emery is pleased to be back in familiar surroundings but believes his experiences in France and England, regardless of how tough they may have been, have served him well.
He added: “My experiences abroad have always given me very positive things, but being back home allows you to have things more controlled. In Spain I don’t have the language barrier.
“I am not very aware of what is said about me. I try not to be influenced so that it does not affect me when making decisions.”
Emery said of his ambition at Villarreal: “The challenge of finishing in the top four is very great, but we have that dream. Playing in the Europa League can excite us to go on a beautiful path.”