Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny refuses to join squad for pre-season tour to USA

Arsenal’s preparations for the new season have been thrown into disarray after Laurent Koscielny, the club captain, refused to travel to the United States for their pre-season tour.

Koscielny’s representatives have been in talks with the club in recent weeks over the 33-year-old’s future in north London, with reports in France suggesting that he has asked for his contract to be terminated amid interest from sides in Ligue 1.

The Arsenal captain has one year left on his current deal but has made clear his desire to leave north London by ignoring the club’s “clear instructions” to report for their pre-season tour.

In a statement, Arsenal said: “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.”

Reports in France earlier this month said that Koscielny is a top target for Bordeaux, who are believed to have been in contact with the defender for several months.

Koscielny last season returned from a long-term Achilles injury to become a mainstay of Unai Emery’s defence. He had missed seven months of action, including France’s World Cup triumph in Russia.

With club finances stretched to their limits, Arsenal would naturally be reluctant to allow the player to walk away from the club for free this summer. Any funds they generate through player sales will be added to their transfer budget.

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