Unai Emery may well want to keep Laurent Koscielny at the club but it looks as though that ship has well and truly sailed and now it’s all about how much Arsenal can get for him.
Speaking after Arsenal’s win over Angers in their penultimate pre-season game this week, Unai Emery said of Koscielny, “He’s a very important player for us. We are speaking with him and with the team, about my responsibilities, the club’s responsibility and his responsibility.
“With respect it’s better for us, it’s better for the team [if he stays], and it’s changing our idea with the centre back, because if he is here with us this season, it’s very different than if he isn’t with us.
“Now it is between the club and him. I fight to convince him, but I respect his decision, a very personal decision, and that situation can only manage with one argument. I haven’t lost my hope that he will be with us next year. But at the moment his decision is to leave.”
Whether Emery actually wants to keep him or just doesn’t want other clubs to realise we have a player we can’t use remains to be seen. Even with only one working leg last season he was still our best defender so it is probably the former.
Given how he has behaved this summer, it’s clear that Laurent Koscielny is not for turning. Now it’s just down to how much Arsenal can get for him with our captain running about France telling everyone he’s available for free.
Rennes, one of several French clubs interested in signing Koscielny, have finally conceded that they will have to pay something for him, although they’ve no intention of getting anywhere near the £10m Arsenal want.
As Dan wrote on Wednesday, “Arsenal technical director Edu met with Rennes president Olivier Letang and Koscielny’s agent on Monday, according to the reliable David Ornstein. Ornstein added that Koscielny believes he’s played his last game for the Gunners.”
A bidding war, therefore, would be good for the club, as Bordeaux throw their hat into the ring.
“Laurent Koscielny? Of course if the opportunity was there, we would be happy to bring him in,” said Bordeaux’s sports director Eduardo Macia in a recent press conference.
“He’s a leader, a smart defender and one of the best defenders I’ve seen in my career. amazing to have a player of his quality in Bordeaux.
“But he is under contract with Arsenal.
“For now, we cannot say more, he remains a player under contract with Arsenal.”
Although the transfer window in England closes on 8 August at 5pm it remains open in France until 2 September.