Newcastle United: What will the takeover mean?
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Back in the summer of 2017, when Manchester United were looking to build on what Jose Mourinho classified as a questionable treble, the Red Devils saw a staggering £72million bid rejected by French wonderkid Kylian Mbappe. At the time, the 18-year-old had just announced himself to the watching world having fired Monaco to the Ligue 1 title and Champions League semi-finals.
He was razor-sharp in knockout matches against Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund, scoring against both, demonstrating his raw acceleration, skillful dribbling and lethal finishing to firmly put his name in the shop window.
By this point, a whole host of Europe’s elite were queueing up to sign him as the vultures prepared to pick apart this unique Monaco side that also contained the likes of Fabinho, Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar and Benjamin Mendy.
The Guardian reported in May 2017 then United saw their opening offer of £72m rebuffed by Monaco.
It’s said they were told to up their offer to £100m if they wanted to land the highly-sought-after teenager.
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United refused to be held to ransom and instead cooled their interest.
Paris Saint-Germain would later blow all other interested parties out of the war.
The French giants, who were still living in shame after missing out on the title to Monaco, tabled an initial loan with an obligation to buy the player for £165.7m the following summer. It would be enough to win the race.
Mourinho was still keen on strengthening his options in attack though after losing top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored 28 goals in all competitions, to a serious knee injury.
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The Guardian were also reporting that United were keen on signing Antoine Griezmann, a deal that was mooted for years but never actually happened.
There were a whole host of other targets on his radar that summer, too.
Mbappe’s Monaco team-mates Fabinho and Tiemoue Bakayoko, who would eventually join Chelsea. The Brazilian would eventually get his big move to Liverpool the following summer.
Radja Nainggolan was also keen to stay at Roma after United launched an enquiry during discussions with the Italian club.
Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, who was also a target under David Moyes, was also out of reach.
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United would eventually spend big though, landing Everton frontman Romelu Lukaku for £76m, pipping Chelsea to the deal.
Nemanja Matic also arrived from the Blues for a fee of £40m as Mourinho was reunited with his former holding midfielder.
Finally, Victor Lindelof was snapped up from Benfica after the Red Devils had failed to land the centre-back the previous January, costing around £31m.
United would go on to finish the season in second behind Manchester City and while this was a spirited effort, the pressure soon became too much for Mourinho the following season as the demand for success only increased before he was sacked in December 2018.
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