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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020

Emery admits he's been trying to convince skipper Koscielny not to leave Arsenal

The Gunners captain has been angling for a return to his home country of France, but his manager is desperate to keep him.

Laurent Koscielny has made it apparent that he wishes to depart the Emirates.
Laurent Koscielny has made it apparent that he wishes to depart the Emirates.

LAURENT KOSCIELNY COULD still stay at Arsenal this summer despite heavy speculation linking him with a move away from the club.

Manager Unai Emery is loathe to lose his captain, especially with fellow centre-half Shkodran Mustafi also rumoured to be on his way out of the Emirates.

Koscielny was disciplined by Arsenal earlier in the summer after refusing to join his team-mates on their pre-season tour of the United States, but Emery admitted he is still trying to convince him to stay.

“He’s a very important player for us,” Emery said.

“We are speaking with him and with the team, about my responsibilities, the club’s responsibility and his responsibility.

With respect it’s better for us, it’s better for the team… if he is here with us this season, it’s very different than if he isn’t with us.

“At the moment it’s a very personal decision, and we are respecting that. I am speaking with him and we are going to find the best solution, but overall we need a player like him.

“We want to be strong in our defensive line, working with the players we have now.”

Arsenal are close to completing a club-record deal to sign Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, and have also been linked with a renewed move for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney.

The speculation surrounding Koscielny and Mustafi has led some to suggest that Emery will be forced to dip back into the transfer market for another centre-back if one or both of them leaves.

But the Spaniard says he will only be bringing more players in if he is sure they will improve his team.

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“We have a lot of centre-backs,” he said. “We have good centre-backs, and if we can sign one more centre-back, it is because he is clearly better than what we have. Because at the moment we have six.

“We are in different positions with some players because [Konstantinos] Mavropanos has his injury and we are continuing to see that situation.

“We have until 8 August, and we need to speak over these few days about how we can be, and how we can close our squad.”

- Omni

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