Sunday, 21 July, 2019

Premier League giants Arsenal respond to veteran defender going AWOL

Arsenal's Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Arsenal's French defender Laurent Koscielny attend a training session at Arsenal's London Colney training centre in St. Albans Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny refuses to join squad for pre-season tour to USA
Cary Erickson | 11 July, 2019, 16:26

Veteran centre-back Laurent Koscielny will not be with the rest of his teammates as they head off to the USA for Arsenal's pre-season tour - the defender has refused to travel with the squad, according to the Gunners' official website.

That could apply to a lot of things to be honest, but on this occasion, their anger is exclusively directed at the Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny.

Koscielny is said to be keen to leave the Emirates this summer, with reports indicating the Frenchman is interested on a return to Ligue 1.

Arsenal confirmed the news in a statement that said: "We are very disappointed by Laurent's actions, which are against our clear instructions".

The Gunners fly to the United States at lunchtime on Thursday, but will travel without their skipper who stunned club chiefs by turning up at London Colney on Thursday morning and announcing he would spend the day training and that he would not be joining the rest of the squad on the coach to the airport.

Arsenal says it was working to resolve the matter.

Arsenal name former player Edu as new technical director
We'll keep you up to date with the very latest transfer news concerning your club in our daily football gossip and rumours column. Arsenal's purse strings have been tightened by their failure to qualify for the Champions League for a second successive season.

Veteran defender Laurent Koscielny, who is now in the final year of his contract with the Gunners, has made his desire to leave Unai Emery's side crystal-clear after refusing to travel with the squad for pre-season.

The Gunners battle the Colorado Rapids at 9 p.m. Monday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

How do you think Koscielny should be punished by Arsenal?

It appears there will be opportunities for a number of young players, including new teenage signing Gabriel Martinelli.

Arsenal are close to finalising a £27million deal for Saint Etienne centre-back William Saliba, but it is thought he will be loaned back to the French outfit for the 19/20 campaign.