Arsenal transfer news: Club captain Laurent Koscielny refuses to go on preseason tour to US

Koscielny had been expected to be part of the squad flying to the USA on Thursday but the club have now said the player will remain in London ‘against our clear instructions’

Luke Brown
Thursday 11 July 2019 11:48
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Arsenal’s pre-season preparations have suffered a major blow after their club captain, Laurent Koscielny, refused to join the rest of his team-mates on a summer tour to the United States.

Koscielny had been expected to be part of the squad flying to the USA on Thursday but the club confirmed this morning that the player will remain in London “against our clear instructions”.

The 33-year-old is desperate to leave Arsenal after nine years in north London, with a host of Ligue 1 clubs interested in bringing him back to his native France.

“Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the US for our pre-season tour,” a short statement on the club’s official website read.

“We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions.

“We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”

The club will begin disciplinary proceedings immediately. It is almost certain he will lose the captain’s armband, should he be forced to see out the final year of his contract.

The Frenchman’s future has long been in doubt. He entered the final year of his contract this summer and his representatives recently met with Arsenal to ask for the player to be released from the final year of his contract, as a reward for his long service.

However, cash-strapped Arsenal refused the request. The club’s finances are currently stretched to their limits – with their transfer budget seriously dented by their failure to qualify for the Champions League – and they remain short of defensive options.

Arsenal will therefore not countenance allowing a player they value at close to £10m to leave the club for nothing.

There is no shortage of interest in Koscielny and The Independent understands that Bordeaux are leading the race for his signature, after 20-year-old defender Jules Kounde was allowed to leave for Seville for €25m.

Ligue 1 rivals Lyon and Rennes have also reached out to the player’s representatives to express an interest in his services.

Laurent Koscielny wants to quit Arsenal

Arsenal face Colorado Rapids in an exhibition match on July 16 before taking on Bayern Munich, Fiorentina and Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup.

They begin their Premier League campaign at Newcastle on August 11.

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