Borussia Dortmund are ready to step up their interest in Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, as the Gunners set a price tag of £10.6m for their club captain.
Talks over a new contract for the 33-year-old have stalled and, with only 12 months remaining on his current contract, Koscielny is seeking a fresh challenge, according to as a report from The Mirror.
Dortmund offer the excitement of a new league and Champions League football for Koscielny, who has struggled for fitness and form in his last two seasons at Arsenal.
Dortmund’s regular centre-back options are Dan-Axel Zagadou, Abdou Diallo and Manuel Akanji. At ages 20, 23 and 23 respectively, the trio are talented but lack the experience of a player like Koscielny, with the Frenchman able to provide leadership not only to the backline but to the dressing room also.
Koscielny signed to Arsenal from Lorient in 2010 for a fee of around £8m, making 255 Premier League appearances to date. Arsenal therefore have the opportunity to make a profit on a 33-year-old they signed at only 24, an astute piece of business – at least on paper.
A two-time FA Cup winner, Koscielny was made club captain in 2018 following the retirement of Per Mertesacker, while he has also been capped 51 times by the French national team.
The Mirror’s report adds that Arsenal are looking at Saint-Etienne’s 18-year-old defender William Saliba as a potential replacement. The French centre back made 15 Ligue 1 appearances last season, impressing a number of clubs including Manchester United.
Arsenal’s other potential targets as listed by the report include Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig and Joachim Andersen of Sampdoria. However, widespread reports of a small transfer budget at Unai Emery’s disposal may put all of those players out of reach.