FURIOUS Arsenal will fine Laurent Koscielny and force him to train with the kids after he sensationally refused to travel for the club’s pre-season tour of the USA.
Unai Emery is set to strip Koscielny of the captaincy after he turned up at the club’s training ground and refused to join the team for their lunch-time flight to Los Angeles.
Koscielny, 33, arrived with no luggage and immediately met the club’s new technical director Edu – who is on his first day in the new job.
The Brazilian only arrived in England last night ahead of boarding the team’s 11-hour flight to LA today.
Now his first task will be to liaise with head of football Raul Sanllehi and the club’s legal and HR teams about what action to take against Koscielny.
The defender has made it clear that he wants to leave Arsenal FOR FREE after nine years at the Emirates and is keen to return to his native France.
Bordeaux, Lyon and Rennes have all shown an interest in the veteran centre-half – but the Gunners will demand at least £10million for him.
Arsenal are to start disciplinary proceedings against the Frenchman, who faces a fine of two weeks wages as well as the loss of the armband.
LAUR UNTO HIMSELF
In a tersely worded statement, the club confirmed: “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.”
Arsenal are refusing to tear up his £90,000-a-week contract and simply allow him to walk away for nothing.
Emery still regards the club’s longest-serving player as his best defender and wants him to stay.
And Koscielny’s astonishing act of defiance has only strengthened Arsenal’s resolve not to grant the player the free transfer he wants.
He still has 12 months remaining on his current contract with the option of a further year, which the club had been considering taking up.
Laurent Koscielny new club odds, Betfair
Bordeaux – 8/11
Rennes – 13/10
Lyon – 13/2
PSG – 12/1
Juventus – 18/1
Bayern Munich – 20/1
Real Madrid – 20/1
Man Utd – 22/1
Barcelona – 25/1
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And they will only let Koscielny leave if an interested club makes an acceptable offer, believed to be around £10m.
The astonishing bust-up has come at the worst possible time for the Gunners ahead of their 14-day tour of the US – taking in games against Colorado Rapids, Bayern Munich, Fiorentina and Real Madrid.
Koscielny, who cost Arsenal £8.5m from Lorient back in 2010, will be ordered to report to London Colney every day and to train with the Under-23 squad and the players who have not been selected to travel to America.
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