In an exclusive interview with Foot Mercato, Moussa Sissoko has laid his cards out on the table, and declared he wants to leave Newcastle and join Arsenal.

The midfielder, who played in 37 of the Magpies’ Premier League games last season, scoring a goal and assisting eight, has made his feelings on staying with the newly relegated team very clear. He does not want to stay and his representatives have already spoken to the club.

“It is very flattering,” he said, as reported by Get French Football News.

“Arsenal is one of the best European teams. To be watched by that sort of club, that proves that you are a quality player. It is good to know. I hope that I will have the chance, soon, to play for this club or for a similar club…

“It is a very big European club. I think that very few people would refuse to play for this club. 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 Pirès, Sylvain Wiltord, Patrick Vieira who was my idol…

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France’s midfielder Moussa Sissoko arrives for a press conference at the Aguilera stadium in Biarritz on May 21, 2016, during the team preparation for the Euro 2016 European football. (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

“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. I have advisors who are dealing with all of that and I hope that things will go well with as little difficulty as possible for me to find another club.”

Arsenal have been linked with the Frenchman before and it’s no real surprise that he would love to join us, nor that we would want him. However, what is a little shocking is how frank the 26-year-old is being. Footballers are usually coy about transfer dealings because it gives them bargaining material but here, Sissoko is practically waiting outside London Colney for the new season to start, football boots clutched in hand. He’s put himself in a vulnerable situation.

We’ll keep you up to date as this story unfolds.