Rennes chief reacts to ‘deal agreed’ rumour for Arsenal’s Koscielny

Joe Williams

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny will not be moving to Rennes this summer, according to the French side’s president.

The 33-year-old was due to fly out to the USA with the rest of the squad earlier this month but the club announced that the defender would not be travelling.

It is understood Koscielny, whose contract runs until next year, made it clear to the club that he wished to be released this summer in order to sign for another club.

But Arsenal stood firm and refused to grant the former France international a free transfer.

There were reports over the weekend that a deal had been agreed that would see Koscielny swap Arsenal for Rennes.

And now Rennes president Olivier Létang says the Ligue Un side haven’t been in touch with Arsenal since mid-June let alone agreed a deal.

“We learned about [the so-called agreement] like you,” Létang told Foot Mercato. “Even my son told me it seems Koscielny is on his way.

“I told him that was false. He’s a good player with a lot of experience at international level.

“We met him twice last year. When we heard there was a chance he could leave in early June, we called Arsenal to ask if that was true because we could be interested.

“Around mid-June, they got back to us and told us they wanted to renew him. He wasn’t for sale.

“We haven’t had any more talks with the player. We have great respect for other clubs. We can’t talk with a player if the team don’t want him to leave, so I can say what came out this weekend is false and isn’t current.

“No, we haven’t spoken to Arsenal since mid-June. For me, there’s no point talking with the player if the door isn’t open.”