Arsenal veteran French defender Laurent Koscielny has finally achieved the transfer that he had been wanting all summer, he moves to Ligue 1 side Bordeaux and the Gunners will receive 4.6 million pounds in exchange. The 33-year-old central defender has spent the last nine years at Arsenal after having joined them from Lorient. He has scored 27 goals in 353 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners and was the captain of the team on more than one occasion.
This summer Koscielny asked the club to let him leave on a free transfer following a disagreement on his contract extension. Arsenal were unwilling to let him go for free, so Koscielny refused to join his team-mates for the pre-season tour of the United States. "We decided to sanction his move to Bordeaux once we agreed acceptable transfer terms," Arsenal said in a statement. "We thank Laurent for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best for the future."
Rennes have also been interested in Koscielny this summer but they probably opted against paying a transfer fee. The veteran central defender is the most expensive transfer of the summer for Bordeaux, who paid just 2 million euros for South-Korean forward Ui-jo Hwang from Gamba Osaka and signed Loris Benito, Mexer and Enock Kwateng on free transfers. Bordeaux have sold central defender Jules Kounde for 25 million euros to Sevilla this summer, so they were in need of a replacement.
Bordeaux finished last season in 14th place and now they are 3/5 at William Hill to secure a top-ten placement in Ligue 1 next season.
As for Arsenal, Koscielny's departure leaves them with Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papasthatopoulos, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as central defenders, but Holding will be out for quite some time while Mavropanos is lacking experience. The Gunners are rumoured to be interested in RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani, but both deals are far from settled with just two days left before the end of the Premier League transfer window.
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