LONDON (Reuters) – Arsenal manager Unai Emery said he is awaiting a decision on Laurent Koscielny after the captain refused to travel with the squad for their pre-season tour to the United States but added the Premier League club must “keep moving ahead” regardless.
The 33-year-old French centre back, who has a year left on his contract, has been linked by the British media with a switch to Ligue 1 clubs Girondins Bordeaux and Olympique Lyonnais.
“I spoke with him three times for his situation. We wanted him to come with us but he decided to stay,” Emery told a news conference after Arsenal defeated Colorado Rapids 3-0.
“For me now, it’s clear. We need to keep moving ahead. We’re playing with the spirit to create a new way.”
Emery said Koscielny, who joined Arsenal from French side Lorient in 2010 and has made over 350 appearances, was still an “important player”.
“Now it’s a matter for him and the club,” the manager said. “They need to speak and are speaking about his situation … I’m waiting on his conversation and decision … I can’t say more than that.”
Born in Tulle, Koscielny began his football career playing for a host of youth clubs before moving to Guingamp in 2003, where he quickly progressed through the youth ranks, making his professional debut the following season. Arsenal next take on German champs Bayern Munich tonight, before matches against Fiorentina and Real Madrid as part of the International Champions Cup.