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Unai Emery insists Laurent Koscielny remains an important player at Arsenal

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has insisted that Laurent Koscielny remains an important player within the first-team squad despite his recent antics. The Frenchman has served the Gunners for the past nine seasons but he has recently ignored to travel for the pre-season tour of the United States with the aim of securing a fresh challenge elsewhere.

Speaking to reporters, Emery said that he had spoken to the Frenchman on multiple occasions at the club’s Colney base but the defender decline to travel with the team. He added that the 33-year-old has one year remaining on his contract with the club and he is hopeful that the captain continues to represent the team next season.

He told: “He started training with us this pre-season and I spoke with him three times for his situation. We wanted him to come with us on this tour but he decided to stay. Now it is a matter for the club and for the player. He has one year left on his contract. For me as a coach he’s an important player. Now it’s one matter for him and the club. The club and him need to speak, they are speaking about his situation. I cannot say more than that.”

Arsenal have relied on Koscielny to save them from dire situations in the past but he has lacked the consistency over the past year whereby he has struggled with fitness concerns. Nonetheless, the Gunners have not sought to sanction the defender’s sale, considering he can produce a top-notch defensive performance on his day.

According to reports, Arsenal are not actively looking to part ways with their club-captain but they would accept a fee of around £8m for his services, should he continue with the recent stance. Elsewhere, it has been indicated that Koscielny could be prepared to buy out the final year of his contract with the club,butthat could end up as the final resort.

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