Former Chelsea scout Daniel Boga has claimed that Kylian Mbappe’s mother pulled the plug on a possible move to Stamford Bridge in 2012.
French youngster Mbappe trained with the Blues for a week as a 13-year-old and played in a junior fixture, impressing coaches with his attacking ability.
But according to Boga, the Premier League club were unconvinced by his work-rate and asked him to come back for another trial — a request mum Fayza Lamari rejected.
‘I brought him over with his family,’ Boga told Goal. ‘He was skilful, like he is now. He played against Charlton and won 7-0.
‘After a week at Chelsea, we went into the office. We said “Listen, we appreciate what we saw from you but we have to invite you back for another trial and we’ll see after that.”
‘I remember what the mother said to this day. She spoke in French and I was translating.
‘She said to me, “Listen, my boy won’t be coming back. If they want him they have to take him now or in five year’s time they will be coming back to buy him for €50million!”‘
Boga, who refused to translate Fayza’s ultimatum to his Chelsea colleagues, added: ‘He was very skilful but in England they want to see the player track back and be a hard worker. At the time, he wasn’t a hard worker.
‘Defensively, he wasn’t there yet. When he got the ball, he was unbelievable, but without the ball, he didn’t work a lot.
‘Chelsea wanted to see him again to see how he could improve on this. I think that’s why they asked him back. He did skilful things and dribbled well. So, maybe the things they wanted to see in the second trial was improved work on the defensive side.
‘They should have signed him. To be fair, though, it is easy to say that now. But, at the time, Chelsea had a good squad.’
Despite Boga’s claim that Chelsea should have signed Mbappe, FIFA rules on the international transfer of minors would have prevented them from doing so until he was 16.
International transfers of minors within the EU or EEA can only take place if a parent of a player first moves to the country in which the new club are based for reasons not related to football, or if they player’s current home and destination club are both within 50km of the national border.
Mbappe mentioned his trip to Chelsea and the important role it played in his career in an interview with The Telegraph last summer, after completing a move from Monaco to PSG — a £163m deal that cost PSG more than three-and-a-half times the fee the teen’s mum predicted he would be worth.
‘It was a wonderful experience,’ said Mbappe. ‘Chelsea was the first great club, the first big club, that I went to visit. So it was a real discovery for me.
‘I was coming from my grassroots, amateur club. It was a whole new world. Of course I had an idea what a great football club was like, but I was really impressed by the working culture and the mentality of wanting to be better day in, day out. And visiting this infrastructure helped me, actually, with my development.
‘An idea has been reinforced since I was a kid — not just because I went to Chelsea. I always thought, ‘I want to be there, I want to be one of those big players who is trying to give people fun out of the game.”