Arsenal close on Koscielny as Campbell talks to Celtic

Arsenal are close to agreeing the £8m transfer of 24-year-old defender Laurent Koscielny from Lorient after the veteran centre-back Sol Campbell flew to Scotland for talks on a possible move to Celtic.

Arsenal hope to sign Koscielny on a four-year deal that is expected to be announced by the end of the week. The transfer comes after long negotiations over the price, which includes Lorient taking Arsenal's promising youngster Francis Coquelin on loan.

Koscielny, who is of Polish descent, joined Lorient in 2009 from Tours, and made 35 appearances in Ligue 1 last season. He has yet to decide whether to play international football for France or Poland.

Wenger desperately needs more cover at the heart of the defence, following the departure of French defender William Gallas who is set to leave the Emirates on a free transfer to join Juventus. Mikaël Silvestre is also likely to be released. Veteran defender Sol Campbell, 35, who made an unlikely return to the club in January, has yet to agree terms on an extended stay and is a free agent.

Campbell was yesterday in Glasgow to discuss terms on a two-year deal with Celtic manger Neil Lennon. Sources in Scotland say Lennon is determined to sign Campbell who has been offered a two-year contract worth £35,000 a week.

Earlier this month Campbell said he was tempted by the challenge at Celtic. The former England defender said: "I think Celtic want to get back to where they should be. It's a massive club. Neil has told me that the main man at the club is also determined for success again. The ambition is to win the championship again and make proper inroads in Europe. For me that's exciting."

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