Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to go on the pre-season US tour with the club as he looks to force an exit this summer.
The 33-year-old has just a year left on his current contract, and he wants to return to France this summer, with Bordeaux – who have reportedly offered him a three-year deal – Rennes and Lyon all interested in him.
Koscielny wanted Arsenal to rip up his contract in order to allow him leave for free, but the North London giants refused, and have since put up a statement expressing their disappointment in the club’s skipper.
“For our captain who’s been there for nine years, we’ve seen him play through pains and build a legacy and legendary status that he deserves, so I’ve to question not only Laurent Koscielny’s loyalty and love for the club to do this in preseason when you’re the captain. A time in the season where everybody has to fight together,” the Arsenal legend said on his official YouTube channel.
“For our captain to refuse to go on pre season tour after nine years of unbelievable service. It destroys your legacy a little bit for a club you profess to love. It is baffling.
“Why Laurent? What are your advisors saying to you? How does it feel for those young guys seeing our captain refuse to play? I’m so disappointed in you Laurent. I love you Laurent, but this is a poor decision to make.”
The veteran defender arrived at the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2010 for a fee of around £10 million, and has since established himself as a fans’ favourite and club hero.