Arsenal 'have to be in the conversation' for Kylian Mbappe, says Mikel Arteta
Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring for PSG in the UEFA Champions League (Photo by Christian Liewig - Corbis/Getty Images)

The Kylian Mbappe transfer saga seems to have dragged on for an eternity, but looks set to finally conclude this summer, after it was revealed that Mbappe has shared his decision to leave PSG with the club.

Real Madrid have long been the obvious front-runner for his signature, but recent rumours have suggested that Arsenal should not be entirely ruled out of the running, which will excite many fans, no doubt.

While it would be highly advisable to take any such links with a pinch, or possibly a barrel, of salt, they are persisting, and now manager Mikel Arteta has had his say, and the Spaniard did little to put an end to the links.

Speaking ahead of Arsenal's game against Burnley, he said:  “When there is a player of that calibre we always have to be in the conversation. But as you said it looks in a different way.”

He continued, on the possibility of signing Mbappe, by saying: “I am not [in a conversation]. Maybe Edu and the owners are. Exactly. Why not?

"If we want to be the best team, we are going to need the best talent and the best players.”

Arteta also spoke passionately about the fact that the world's best players should want to play for Arsenal, saying: “I think the club that we are, I don’t think that’s ever been an issue.

"Everybody wants to play for Arsenal. That’s because of our history and everything we’ve done in the past as well.”

Arteta is not the only person to have spoken on this matter - Mbappe himself spoke to The Telegraph back in 2018 about how he almost joined Arsenal under Arsene Wenger.

The superstar, who had then only just joined PSG, said: "Yes, I met with Arsene Wenger, who is a great coach.

“He has a great reputation here in France, he's well-respected and knows how to develop young players. This was a real option for me.”

The World Cup winner continued: "Paris Saint-Germain was the main option. We weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of all the clubs but my family told me it had to be my decision and one I needed to make.

"It also had to be a long-term decision. So it was up to me and I decided to come here in order to develop.

“A little while ago, before I signed for PSG, we were in contact in 2017.

"I chose a different direction but he wasn’t annoyed at me. He was a gentleman about it and wished me good luck.”

The 'Henry route'?

While rumours of Mbappe possibly joining Arsenal have widely been met with fierce scepticism, others have pointed to Gunners legend and invincible Thierry Henry, and suggested that Mbappe could follow in the footsteps of the all-time great.

 

The 25-year-old has previously shown his admiration for Henry, who  started his career at AS Monaco, Mbappe's former club, before joining Arsenal (after a brief spell with Juventus).

It is important to emphasise that any possible deal is incredibly unlikely but, it would create a storyline for the ages, with one of France's best talents of all time following in the footsteps of another of their best-ever players.

So... could it happen?

Arsenal fans around the world would rejoice if Mbappe were to join Arsenal but, realistically, it is just not a likely outcome.

The finances involved with any such deal would be astronomical, and would require the club to obliterate the wage structure that they have spent many years trying to implement.

Even if his move to Real Madrid were not to materialise, a world in which Arsenal are the alternative just does not feel plausible.

While his signing itself would be free, the package would require an astronomical wage, as well as high bonuses and other details such as image rights.

So, even if Arsenal were the best fit for Mbappe, his future looks a long way away from North London.

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