Arsenal have begun disciplinary proceedings against their captain Laurent Koscielny following his refusal to travel to the United States for the Premier League club’s preseason tour.
The veteran centre-back has spent nine years at the Emirates Stadium and remains one of the most respected players in the dressing room. He has played over 250 Premier League games for Arsenal whilst also playing a key role in the Gunners’ FA Cup victories in 2014 and 2015.
However, Laurent Koscielny is now desperate to leave Arsenal, a club which he has captained for four years. The Frenchman did not travel with the squad to the United States with his heart set for a return back to his homeland. Ligue 1 trio of Lyon, Bordeaux and Rennes have reportedly shown interest in the defender.
The 33-year old still has one year left on his Arsenal contract, however, he has demanded the club to let him depart for nothing. His unusual behaviour has deeply upset the Arsenal management, who released a statement condemning his non-sporting behaviour.
“Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the US for our pre-season tour,” Arsenal wrote. “We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions. We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”
Arsenal have been linked with €30m-rated Saint Etienne defender William Saliba, a deal with whom is in its final phase. However, the club are planning to loan the teenage sensation back to the French side.
Manager Unai Emery has been given a limited budget to work with this summer, and the inevitable departure of club captain Laurent Koscielny could prove to be yet another headache for the Spaniard. Teammate Shkodran Mustafi also recently hinted at a possible departure after he removed ‘Player of Arsenal’ from his social media bio.
The North Londoners begin their preseason tour with a game against Colorado Rapids on Monday night following three crunch matches against Bayern Munich, Fiorentina and Real Madrid before the commencement of the Premier League season in August.