Arsenal Manager, Unai Emery is still hoping to convince want away centre-back Laurent Koscielny to stay at Arsenal beyond this summer. The rebellious Arsenal captain Koscielny refused to travel on the pre-season tour of the United States after his request to have his contract terminated to allow him to join another club was rejected.
And now he is expected to call time on his nine-year Arsenal career, with him very interested in sealing an emotional return home to France. But Emery is keen to keep hold of the experienced defender this summer with the centre-back position still proving troublesome at the Emirates. After Arsenal’s pre-season friendly draw against French side Angers, Emery said: ‘Koscielny is a very important player for us and I don’t lose hope for him to be with us next season.
‘I am speaking regularly with him and I am trying to convince him to stay with us. ‘But at the moment his first idea is still to leave and this situation is making us change our ideas about the centre-backs.’ Emery has a shortage of centre-backs at his disposal currently, with Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos still recovering from injury, while Shkodran Mustafi continues to struggle. And despite wanting Koscielny to stay, Emery insists Arsenal are looking in the market for a new centre-back if he does end up leaving.
‘It makes a big difference to us if Laurent plays or not’, the Arsenal boss added.’ The transfer window closes in eight days and we need to speak about what we do now. ‘We want to be strong in the defensive line and we are thinking about how we can replace him. ‘If we can sign one more centre-back it will only be if he is clearly better than the six we already have.’