Laurent Koscielny has joined Bordeaux after Arsenal agreed to sell the club captain for a fee of around €5m (£4.6m). Koscielny has been desperate to return to France this summer and refused to go on Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the United States in a bid to force a move. The defender had hoped that Arsenal would allow him to leave for free, despite having one year left on his current contract, but the club were adamant that they would only countenance his departure if they received a fee. In a statement, Arsenal said: “We decided to sanction his move to Bordeaux once we agreed acceptable transfer terms.”
Unai Emery, the Arsenal head coach, had tried on multiple occasions to convince Koscielny to stay in north London. The defender turns 34 in September but the coaching staff believed he could still be a crucial player this season before the arrival of teenage centre-back William Saliba, who signed this summer but has been loaned back to France, at the end of the campaign. Koscielny signed from Lorient in 2010 and was part of three FA Cup-winning sides under Arsene Wenger, making 353 appearances in total.
Arsenal are continuing to pursue another centre-back before the transfer deadline day on Thursday. There is interest in Juventus defender Daniele Rugani but it is understood that the financial figures being quoted by the Italian club are out of Arsenal’s reach. Reports in Italy have said that Juventus want around £50m for the 25-year-old, who has made seven appearances for the Italian national side. Arsenal also rate Red Bull Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano but the German side are reportedly holding out for a fee of around £70m for the 20-year-old.