Rennes president Olivier Létang says the Ligue 1 club do not have an agreement with Laurent Koscielny and that their interest in the defender cooled in mid-June when Arsenal told them he wasn’t for sale.
Angry that we wouldn’t let him leave for anything less than £10 million, our club captain refused to go on our pre-season tour of the USA in the hope of forcing a move. Since then he’s been forced to train with the kids at London Colney.
Via his agent, we know that Koscielny was talking to potential suitors towards the end of the 2017/18 season with a view to leaving at the same time as Arsene Wenger. His horrible Achilles injury killed that idea and after a long recovery, he returned to first team action at the Emirates in December.
Judging by Létang’s words, Rennes were one of the clubs trying to lure Koscielny back to France this time last year and they registered interest again in June, however, they maintain they have since backed away.
“I told him that was false. He’s a good player with a lot of experience at international level.
“We met him twice last year. When we heard there was a chance he could leave in early June, we called Arsenal to ask if that was true because we could be interested.
“Around mid-June, they got back to us and told us they wanted to renew him. He wasn’t for sale.
“We haven’t had any more talks with the player. We have great respect for other clubs. We can’t talk with a player if the team don’t want him to leave, so I can say what came out this weekend is false and isn’t current.
“No, we haven’t spoken to Arsenal since mid-June. For me, there’s no point talking with the player if the door isn’t open.”
While direct contact between the club and player may not have taken place. It’s fair to say they’ve probably spoken to his agent and that Koscielny is well-aware of their financial terms. That’s just the way football is and always has been.
Bordeaux, another club supposedly sniffing around, have also said that they have not spoken to the player. By the sound of things, they’d quite like to. Quizzed about Koscielny, coach Paulo Sousa said yesterday, “I have already said it, he is not our player.
“He is a player that every team would like to have because of his experience, the quality of his play and everything that he represents in football.
“We are in the market for central defenders because Jules Kounde has left and so we are looking for another player to replace him.
“All talks are ongoing but once again he is not our player.
“We are working hard to give ourselves the chance to have a player with his characteristics.”