Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel with the team for their pre-season tour in the United States of America, Arsenal have confirmed in an official statement.
Having started out at Guingamp, the club captain also played for Tours and Lorient before arriving to the Emirates in 2010. His impact in the team can be said to have been huge right from the start, as he made 43 appearances and scored three goals in all competitions in his first season. Overall, he has played 353 times in an Arsenal shirt and found the opposition net 27 times from his position as a centre-back. Apart from that, he also has 51 caps for France under his belt.
His time with the Gunners has occasionally been affected by injuries, with the one he suffered in the Europa League semifinal in 2017/18 turning out to have been arguably the most damaging one. He missed the 2018 pre-season and almost half of 2018/19, and since his return, he hasn’t been nearly as reliable as before.
Arsenal conceded 51 Premier League goals last season, which highlights the need for defensive reinforcements, the need that having Koscielny in the team cannot satisfy. The Gunners have therefore been linked with the likes of Samuel Umtiti of Barcelona and Dan-Axel Zagadou of Borussia Dortmund. They are, however, only close to completing a £27 million deal for 18-year-old William Saliba, who would then return to Saint-Etienne on a season-long loan, and that leaves them still in search of a defender to make immediate impact.
Dortmund have reportedly been interested in Koscielny this summer, but his decision not to travel with the squad seems to come due an offer from Bordeaux, who wish to take him back to France on a three-year deal, but it feels too early to draw any conclusions.
The club have expressed their disappointment with Koscielny’s actions and the hope that the matter will be resolved soon, and they’ve refused to make any further comments about the situation.