By Will Butcher
Defender Laurent Koscielny is expected to sign a new three-year deal with Arsenal, according to a report.
French newspaper L’Equipe claim that Koscielny is expected to pen an extended contract in the coming days following a breakthrough in negotiations.
The deal will keep the France international at the Emirates until 2020 and replace his current deal, which is set to expire in the summer of 2019.
The contract will come as good news to Gunners fans, after doubts had arised over the future of the 31-year-old with some reports claiming in the summer that Bayern Munich were interested in his services.
Currently wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of injured skipper Per Mertesacker, Koscielny has developed into the Gunners’ first-choice centre-back by manager Arsene Wenger in recent years.
The former Lorient stopper has made 262 league and cup appearances for the Gunners, scoring 22 goals and keeping a total of 73 clean sheets in that time.
Football Insider verdict:
Tying Koscielny’s future down is fundamental to the successes of the Gunners as he is one of the first names on the Gunners’ teamsheet. However, the France international is already 31 and he will be almost 35 by the time the new reported contract expires. A week is a long time in football, and with the likes of Rob Holding coming through the ranks, it is surely open to question whether Koscielny will still be a mainstay of the Gunners side at 35. It also flies in the face of Wenger’s long-standing policy of only handing one-year deals to players who have already turned 30. The likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires, who were only offered short-term contracts at the advanced stages of their Arsenal careers, might raise eyebrows at the manager’s change of policy.
In other Arsenal transfer news, Real Madrid are looking to plot a £25million move for this Arsenal midfielder.