Koscielny: Let me leave for Arsenal

Lorient defender Laurent Koscielny has appealed to the club’s directors to let him join Arsenal, after the Gunners’ initial approaches were turned down.

The 24-year-old centre-back only joined the French club from Tours FC last summer and Lorient are looking to turn a large profit on the player.

Adding fuel to the fire started by his agent, Koscielny said: "It's a joy to be courted by Arsenal. I want to join this prestigious club which is playing in the Champions League. I told the board and they understood me.

"I've always liked English football with the fans closer to the pitch, and the quality of game played by Arsenal won me over."

With the departures of Philippe Senderos, Mikael Silvestre, William Gallas and Sol Campbell, Emirates Stadium supremo Arsene Wenger appears desperate to get his man and bulk up his defence in time for the new season.

Koscielny’s rise through the French leagues has been impressive, as the defender, who is eligible to represent both France and Poland at international level, moved from Ligue 2’s Tours FC into the top-flight, scoring three goals in 35 games.

His efforts helped Les Merlus to a seventh place finish in Ligue 1 and the club are reported to be demanding £11 million for the defender who stands at just over 6ft tall.

And while the stopper understands that his rise has been rapid, he is eager to play at the highest level.

"Everything has been fast for me. It takes a good bit of luck," he said.

By Colin Harvey

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