Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has told TASS he struggled to understand how Paris Saint-Germain could sign Kylian Mbappe and still comply with financial fair play (FFP) rules.
Mbappe has joined PSG on a season-long loan before a €180 million purchase option is due to be taken up in 12 months’ time, which — when added to the €222m arrival of Neymar from Barcelona — will take the club’s spending to over €400m.
UEFA has launched an official investigation into PSG’s transfer dealings to see whether they have infringed FFP regulations, which allow for only a €30m deficit over three years.
Having already been punished by a fine and hit with minor sanctions for breaking the rules in 2014, PSG could now face a weightier reprimand from European football’s governing body, which could even exclude the club from the Champions League.
Vasilyev, who helped broker the deal with PSG, admitted he was struggling to see how his club’s Ligue 1 rivals could remain on the right side of FFP.
“We could not understand until the very end how possible it would be to strike this deal because UEFA had some questions regarding the compliance with the [principle] of financial fair play,” Vasilyev told the Russian news agency.
“We should give credit to Kylian and his family because during a trilateral meeting with PSG they insisted that the transfer would be possible based only on highly beneficial conditions for Monaco.
“It was important for us to close the negotiations with our chins up. This argument was final and PSG understood that they could pay this price only.”
He added: “The current regulations state that the clubs must not spend on the whole over €30m over the previous three financial years.
“The UEFA president has stated again that he will clamp down on violations of financial regulations on behalf of the clubs and this issue will soon be the most heated topic for discussions in the European football.”
He said he was ultimately happy with the deal, despite losing Mbappe to their domestic rivals.
“It was a very difficult deal,” Vasilyev said. “Initially we did not want to let the footballer play for our opponent.
“I have developed very good relations with the player and his parents, particularly with his father, who also acts as his agent. When I heard their opinions regarding why he wants to move to Paris, I have accepted them and we began difficult and tiresome negotiations with PSG.
“I think that this deal turned out to be the most successful in the world of football.”
Vasilyev also said Thomas Lemar had wanted to join Arsenal or Liverpool in the summer but Monaco refused to cash in.
“Thomas wanted to go to Arsenal and to Liverpool, but we had discussions, and we took a communal decision so that he could stay here,” he said.
“He is a very important player for us. We could not have sold him. It would have affected the entire team and the individuals.”
Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal bid €100m for Lemar and said he will make a new bid for the France international.
Ian is ESPN’s French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman