Saturday 17 August 2019

Arsenal still in talks with wantaway captain Koscielny

Having moved to Arsenal from Lorient in 2010 it is understood Koscielny is now keen to return to play in France. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Having moved to Arsenal from Lorient in 2010 it is understood Koscielny is now keen to return to play in France. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Laurent Koscielny is still determined to leave Arsenal this summer despite ongoing talks between club and player.

The 33-year-old skipper refused to travel on a pre-season tour to the United States after his request to have his contract terminated to allow him to join another club was rejected by the Gunners.

Arsenal insisted disciplinary proceedings would be opened against Koscielny, who has been training away from the first-team and has not featured for Unai Emery's side throughout pre-season.

Having moved to Arsenal from Lorient in 2010 it is understood Koscielny is now keen to return to play in France.

He missed seven months of football in 2018 following a ruptured Achilles injury suffered in the Europa League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid, which also ruled him out of France's World Cup-winning campaign.

Final

He then captained Emery's side as they lost to Chelsea in the final of the same competition last year.

That looks set to be his 353rd and final game for Arsenal as, with discussions continuing in an attempt to find a suitable resolution for both parties, it is believed Koscielny is moving closer towards the exit door.

With reports also linking fellow centre-back Shkodran Mustafi with a move away, Arsenal will be keen to add defensive reinforcements before the transfer window shuts next week.

A club-record deal for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe is close to completion, while a move for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney is still in play despite the Scottish champions knocking back two offers from Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Lille president Lille president Gerard Lopez has confirmed Arsenal's club-record €80million (£73m) move to sign Nicolas Pepe.

Arsenal are expected to announce Pepe's arrival in the next 24 hours with the 24-year-old forward reportedly ready to sign a five-year contract at the Emirates.

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