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'Arsenal not the first destination for a Griezmann or Mbappe' - Hartson warns big changes needed

12:59 GMT+3 07/05/2017
HD Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid
The former Gunners striker believes the world's top talents would now favour other options over a big-money transfer to Emirates Stadium

Arsenal have “so much” to do before they can land the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, John Hartson has warned.

The Gunners were once one of the most attractive propositions in European football, as they regularly competed for major honours at home and abroad.

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Their Premier League standing has, however, started to slip, while their spending power has been eclipsed by domestic rivals such as Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Arsene Wenger insists that he remains in the market for the very best talent available, with Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann and Monaco sensation Mbappe among those currently generating plenty of interest, but Hartson fears players of that calibre are now looking elsewhere.

He told BT Sport : "Why would Griezmann come to Arsenal over any of those other teams?

"In the current climate, whether it's Arsene's fault or the people above him, Arsenal is not your first destination if you're Antoine Griezmann, if you're Kylian Mbappe. 

"That's what the problem is right now. 

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"It's not realistic that Arsenal can get them, there's so much that can be done before they can go in for those players."

While the Gunners will be expected to be active in the summer window, they have yet to reveal who will be overseeing any transfer business.

Wenger’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the season and, amid a backdrop of protests against his reign, no extension has been announced.