Incoming coach Pep Guardiola has sanctioned a £20 million summer swoop for the defender but the Gunners are confident of fending off the German giants' interestEXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Bayern Munich have made an enquiry for Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, Goal.com can reveal.
Incoming coach Pep Guardiola is a big admirer of the French centre-back and has sanctioned a summer swoop as the German giants press ahead with strengthening their already formidable squad.
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|Koscielny is not really an upgrade for the German champions' backline. In the centre of defence, Dante has his place cemented, while Daniel van Buyten and Jerome Boateng are fighting to be next to him. Also, Holger Badtuber, currently injured, is arguably the club's best central defender.
Koscielny might be a good option to replace the 35-year-old Van Buyten, whose contract expires this summer. Their strength this season has been the depth in the squad and Pep Guardiola will wnat to have four strong centre-backs next year.
The Premier League club value Koscielny at the £20 million mark and are confident of fending off interest in the 27-year-old given that his contract has another four years to run.
The most likely of the Arsenal centre-backs to leave this summer is Thomas Vermaelen, who has attracted strong interest from Barcelona. Moreover, Bacary Sagna is expected to move back to France following the collapse of his contract talks, with Sebastien Corchia, 22, of Sochaux lined up to replace him.
Koscielny joined Arsenal from Lorient in 2010 for around £9.7m and has developed into one of the most accomplished defenders in the English top flight.
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Koscielny caught the eye of Guardiola when Arsenal beat Barcelona 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium in a first-leg Champions League tie in February 2011. He was also outstanding in the Gunners' 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena in the first knockout stage of this season's competition.
Bayern are targeting a proven centre-back this summer who will be comfortable with Guardiola's fluid playing style.
The Champions League finalists already have four senior centre-backs in Dante, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber and Daniel Van Buyten with the latter now expected to extend his contract beyond the summer and Jan Kirchhoff confirmed as joining.
Speaking during the international break in March, Koscielny said that he was settled in the capital. "I still have four years left on my contract after June," he explained. "I feel good in the club. They have faith in me. I’m happy in London, my family too, I’m not thinking about [leaving]."