Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool supporters the truth about Kylian Mbappe transfer reports

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Kylian Mbappe in 2018.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappe looks set to make the move to Real Madrid after years of speculation over his future at Paris Saint-Germain finally putting an end to links with Liverpool.

The Reds have been frequently named as an interested club during the long-running transfer saga involving the France international. Even before his successful spell in Paris, the attacker burst onto the scene in AS Monaco's Ligue 1 winning side scoring 27 goals in 60 appearances - winning the French league with Les Rouges et Blanc.

Madrid has long been the destination where the next chapter for Mbappe would take place and it's clear the 25-year-old has now signed along the dotted line to join the newly-crowned Champions League holders.

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Despite Florentino Perez's side overwhelming favourites to sign Mbappe, Liverpool were often rumoured to hold an interest. It was in the Principality that Mbappe caught the eye of recruitment figures with Jurgen Klopp and the Reds interested in the then-18-year-old sensation.

In 2017, PSG won the race to sign on a season-long loan with an obligation to sign a four-year deal. It was reported that move would cost in the region of £166million. Fast forward seven years, 256 goals, one World Cup and countless French domestic titles later, Mbappe's time there is over.

Last year, Liverpool's former director of research Dr Ian Graham admitted that the France star was 'out of the league' for the Reds financially. In an interview with The Guardian, he said: "Any statistical model will tell you that Kylian Mbappe is the best player in Europe at the moment.

"But unfortunately, financially, he’s out of Liverpool’s league. We’re looking for the best-performing players per pound."

For many, the prospect of Mbappe arriving at Anfield was a fever dream and a reality only seen in football video games. It didn't stop the reports and the growing adulation between the Frenchman and the Reds didn't extinguish the fanfare either.

"This season, Liverpool have been a machine in the Premier League," he said in 2020. "They have made winning look easy but the truth is that it is never easy.

"Performances, like they have been having, don't just happen. To be as ruthless as they have been would come from lots of hard work in training and from having a very good manager."

Two years prior, Klopp made a glowing assessment: "I love him [Mbappe], to be honest. What a player he is and a nice lad as well, so he's a really good kid. What a player, what a player.

"Everyone knows him since he was 16, 17 when he impressed in Monaco's youth teams, and I saw videos of him when he was 17 and he destroyed defensive lines as he is doing now.

"He's at an unbelievable level of consistency at that age. He's an outstanding player, that's clear, but he can deliver, deliver and deliver, which shows he's really good educated boy and he knows what he is doing."

Uncertainty over Mbappe's future isn't unique. In 2022, Mbappe looked set to complete the move to Real Madrid only to make a monumental u-turn and sign an extension for the Parisiens.

During that period, while he looked to leave the France capital on a free transfer, Liverpool were still mooted as contenders. As they were the following year when he became subject of interest from Saudi Pro League giants Al-Hilal with the Middle Eastern club said to have tabled an eye-watering €300million (£255m) offer. Nothing came to fruition, as it ever did, and he remained at the Parc des Princes, winning a French double.

Liverpool have never been a cash-rich club in the Premier League, by comparison to the wealth of Manchester City, Manchester United and more recently, Newcastle. The Reds' shrewd business helped them acquire little-to-unknown talents polishing them into diamonds with the sale of Philippe Coutinho a catalyst for the arrivals of two record signings Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk.

And Klopp said as much himself, during the emotional send-off at the M&S Bank Arena, blowing their rivals out of the water for global talents like Mbappe, Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham was impossible for Liverpool - reiterating a point from February that it would be "tricky" for top clubs to acquire the talisman.

"If Liverpool would be the club with endless money, you can spend what you want," said the 56-year-old. "Kylian Mbappe comes here, Bellingham comes here, Haaland comes here. It doesn’t fit, it’s not us. It is not us. That’s how it is."

When Mbappe is announced as a Real Madrid player and the latest Galactico at the Bernabeu, rumours of a move to Liverpool will become obsolete. As the Liverpool era under Jurgen Klopp comes to an end, it too brings to a close a period of wild speculation and mind-boggling transfer scenarios, until the next one emerges.