Arsenal's Koscielny bid rejected

Arsenal have had an £8 million bid for Lorient defender Laurent Koscielny rejected by the Ligue 1 club, according to reports in France.

L'Equipe claim the Gunners moved for the 23-year-old centre-back earlier this week, but were told on Thursday that the bid would not be accepted, despite the fee representing a massive return on the £1 million Les Merlus spent on Koscielny last summer.

Koscielny arrived at Stade du Moustoir from French second division side Tours last July, and has performed impressively and consistently in Lorient’s back four as the Brittany side finished a creditable seventh in Ligue 1 in 2009/10.

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L'Equipe suggests that Arsenal are just one of a host of top European sides currently tracking the defender, who has been lauded as one of the best in French football over recent months.

Arsene Wenger is said to be looking to bring another central defender to Emirates Stadium with William Gallas set to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of this month.

Fellow defenders Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre could also leave Arsenal over the summer.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are also being heavily linked with a move for Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole. The England midfielder will also be out of contract at the end of June and will be available on a free transfer unless he signs a new deal with the Stamford Bridge side.

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