International midfielder issues come & get me plea to “beautiful Arsenal…the club of my heart”

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Come and get me pleas do not get much more blatant than this.

Moussa Sissoko has told the French media that he wants to leave Newcastle United this summer, and has his heart set on a move to Arsenal.

The France international has revealed that he has no intention of playing in the Championship next season after Newcastle’s shock relegation.

Sissoko has informed Magpies boss Rafael Benitez of his desire to leave, and his dream scenario is to follow his French idols by representing Arsenal, whom he describes as ‘the club of my heart’.

Speaking to Foot Mercato while on France duty ahead of Euro 2016, Sissoko said: “It is flattering that a coach like [Benitez], a great coach, wants to keep me. But I think that he is aware.

“I have reached a level where playing in the Championship would be difficult for me. I need to continue to evolve. I aspire to play for the greatest European clubs and to continue with the French national team.

“There will be discussions. I hope that they go in the right direction. I want to leave. I would like to continue my career in England, in a club that plays Champions League football.”

Quizzed about potential interest from Arsenal, Sissoko added: “It is very flattering. Arsenal is one of the best European teams. To be watched by that sort of club, that proves that you are a quality player.

“Everyone knows, I often said it when I was young, Arsenal is the club of my heart, because there were quite a few French players there like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Sylvain Wiltord, Patrick Vieira who was my idol…

“The beautiful Arsenal. We will see. I cannot tell you if I am going to go to Arsenal. For the moment, I am focused on the French national team and the Euros.”

The Mirror reported in May that 35-cap international Sissoko was next on Arsene Wenger’s midfield wish-list after capturing Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach.

But there might be concerns around the Emirates that the 26-year-old, who has scored 12 goals in 133 appearances for Newcastle, is not good enough to improve the Gunners.

He can be unstoppable at his best – as he was in Newcastle’s final-day thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur – but suffers with inconsistency, and may have to lower his expectations for his next club.

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