Arsenal boss Arteta responds to Mbappe transfer links: ‘We always have to be in the conversation’

Joe Williams
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Kylian Mbappe
Mikel Arteta hopes Arsenal can always be in the conversation for players like Kylian Mbappe.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists the Gunners “always have to be in the conversation” for players like Kylian Mbappe amid transfer speculation.

It was confirmed yesterday by multiple reliable sources that Mbappe has decided to leave Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in the summer with Real Madrid still the most likely destination after months of speculation.

And now Relevo journalist Matteo Moretto has revealed that Mbappe has already “said yes” to Real Madrid with it just a case of sorting out some “small loose ends” before he can be confirmed as a Carlo Ancelotti signing.

Moretto wrote in his Caught Offside column: “They’ve told me that Kylian Mbappe, when he communicated the decision to Nasser Al-Khelaifi, he told him that it wasn’t a matter of money, but down to personal goals and trying to compete at the top level in another league and another environment. Basically, it’s about the sporting side of it and not the money.

“Mbappe has already said yes to Real Madrid, and there are just loose ends to tie up, he will sign for less money than he could have earned at Paris Saint-Germain. He communicated his decision to PSG on Tuesday, and he already has in mind where he will play next season, he has always had the dream of playing for Real Madrid.

“If he didn’t fulfil that dream this year, it was almost impossible that it would happen, as he is a free agent this summer. It’s just a few small loose ends to tie up, it’s already decided, and he’s clear that it’s about the sporting side – PSG know he will earn less money than he would have with them.”

READ MORE: The path for Arsenal to sign Mbappe, and the unfairness around Dan Ashworth’s defection to Man Utd

Arsenal were one of the other clubs, along with Liverpool, who were linked to Mbappe as it became clear he was likely to leave PSG in the summer window.

A report earlier this week insisted that Mbappe ‘would willingly join’ Arsenal ‘to follow’ in Thierry Henry’s footsteps but the Gunners did not want to ‘break their entire financial strategy’ to sign the Frenchman.

On rumours that Mbappe would’ve liked to join Arsenal, Arteta told a pre-match press conference on Friday: “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.”

On whether there was any good injury news ahead of their trip to Burnley, Arteta added: “The update is that some of them have been progressing better than others. We have a training session today. I’m positive that hopefully we’re gonna get a few back for tomorrow.

“No one definitely ruled out for tomorrow.”

When asked about Thomas Partey specifically, Arteta replied: “There’s not big set backs. Thomas Partey is progressing really well. It’s look very good and he’s on the field already. Hopefully a couple of weeks.”

Arsenal have scored 16 goals in their last four Premier League matches as they’ve returned to form in the early part of this year following a shaky December period.

When asked what he had done to get Arsenal scoring more goals, Arteta said: “Nothing. Working the team on their strengths. Sometimes it’s about convincing the players to try more and have certain beliefs. That’s the evolution that a team needs throughout the season because opponents are very intelligent.”