Moussa Sissoko
Sissoko says he has to leave Newcastle this summer to keep his place in the French squad after Euro 2016 Getty

Newcastle United midfielder Moussa Sissoko has stated he wants to leave St James' Park, suggesting Arsenal would be his ideal destination.

The Magpies were relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2015-16 season and are expected to lose some of their first-team players this summer. Sissoko, despite being made club captain by Rafa Benitez for the final six games of their doomed relegation battle, Sissoko is one of those eyeing the exit, keen to find a new club in order to keep his international ambitions alive.

"Personally I have not spoken with the club. My advisors have spoken," Sissoko told Foot Mercato. "I arrived there three years, three-and-a-half-years ago, when Newcastle was in a complicated situation and helped them stay up.

"I will not say: 'I knew how to save them.' We maintained the club. I gave everything there for three years. I hope that today they will be smart enough to understand that to continue my development, I need to keep playing at the highest level.

"As I want to stay in the France team I could not stay in the Championship. There will be discussions. I hope they will go in my opinion. I want to leave."

Sissoko added he is keen to remain in English football and when asked about the possibility of a move to Arsenal, he said: "Arsenal is one of the best European clubs. To be followed by this kind of club, it proves that we have the quality. It is good to know. I hope I will have a chance soon to play for this club or a similar club."

He added: "Everyone knows, I have often said when I was young, my heart was Arsenal football club, because there were a lot of French players that have been there. Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Sylvain Wiltord, Patrick Vieira who was my idol."

Sissoko also confirmed any decision about his future will be made after France's Euro 2016 campaign.

"For now, I'm focused on the team of France and the Euro. I have advisers who manage all this and I hope everything will go well with minimal difficulty for me to find another club."

In May, the Mirror reported Arsene Wenger, a long-term admirer of the France international, was considering bringing the powerful midfielder to north London. Those plans may have changed, however, following the signing of Switzerland international Granit Xhaka.

Xhaka's international teammate Ricardo Rodriguez is another player to have been linked with a move to the Emirates. German publication Kicker suggested the Premier League side will activate his €25m (£19m, $28m) release clause, with current club Wolfsburg admitting the player was keen to leave.

Arsenal also hope to bring Leicester City and England striker Jamie Vardy to the club, but the 29-year-old could still decide to remain at the Premier League champions.