Arsenal news: Club captain Laurent Koscielny refuses to join squad for US pre-season tour
What's the story?
Arsenal have confirmed on their official website that club captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the United States for their pre-season tour, amidst rumors that he's looking for a move away from the North-London club.
In case you didn't know...
The veteran center-half has been in regular contact with the club for several weeks to have his contract terminated mutually and it has reported that the Frenchman has three firm offers on the table.
Koscielny joined Arsenal in the summer of 2010 and is widely regarded as the best defender the Gunners have had in the Premier League era.
Having been made club captain for the 2018/19 season after the departure of Per Mertesacker, the Frenchman struggled with injuries last season as Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League.
The heart of the matter...
Arsenal said in their official statement that they are deeply disappointed with their captain's actions and with the conflict of interest between the two parties, this looks like a saga that could drag on for a while.
"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."
As per reports in France, Koscielny has 3 firm offers from Ligue 1 sides but Arsenal have so far showed no willingness to part ways with their captain on a free transfer.
It's hard to fault Arsenal's actions considering the circumstances. Koscielny still has a year left on his contract and despite his achievements and long-term affiliation to the club, the London club are in no ways obligated to mutually terminating his contract to facilitate a free transfer, even more so considering their meager £45 million budget.
Arsenal's firm statement earlier today is further indication that they will not be forced to change their stance on Koscielny, despite his pre-season no-show.
The club have indicated that they'll look to resolve the matter internally and Koscielny is likely to report for pre-season training in the coming days, as he's still contractually bound to the club.