The BBC’s David Ornstein has had his say on Laurent Koscielny’s decision not to travel on Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the USA revealing the defender recently asked the club to let him leave for free.
The 33-year-old, who has played 353 times for the Gunners and won the FA Cup twice, is under contract for another year so, unsurprisingly, the club rejected his appeal. At the tail-end of last season, it had looked like he might even be open to a contract extension.
It’s believed that several clubs are understood to be interested in signing our club captain on a Bosman (no shit!) but obviously with our tight summer budget and shit defence, the idea of letting him go on his own terms just doesn’t make any sense.
Arsenal/Koscielny talks late last season looked +ve. Back from break, asked for release, refused. Relayed tour decision Wed, confirmed @ Colney today. Flight 1230 without him. Not stripped of captaincy yet, must train or breach contract. #AFC have no offers, he does if free agent
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) July 11, 2019
Granted, we do have previous letting long-serving players leave early. Sol Campbell, who’d outlined a desire to move abroad, was released by Arsene Wenger prematurely in 2006. Much to the Frenchman’s annoyance, the defender ended up joining Portsmouth.
Ornstein says that Arsenal haven’t yet stripped Koscielny of the captaincy but he also says that the player will be in breach of his contract if he doesn’t turn up for training.
If he has any intention of leaving through the front door – and let’s not be naive about this, he will now move – Koscielny will be expected at London Colney this week. No doubt, Steve Bould will be waiting for him.