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Koscielny’s decision to leave Arsenal ‘transcended wage issues’, claims Bordeaux chairman

10:21 WAT 10/09/2019
Laurent Koscielny Bordeaux 2019-20
The experienced French defender forced his way out of Emirates Stadium over the summer, with the decision taken to head back to his homeland

Laurent Koscielny’s decision to leave Arsenal over the summer “transcended wage issues”, claims Bordeaux chairman Joe DaGrosa, with the defender also turning down other clubs.

After nine years at Emirates Stadium, the experienced centre-half took the decision to move on in the last transfer window.

The Gunners had been hoping to see him stay put and honour the final 12 months of his contract in north London.

Koscielny, though, made it clear that he wanted out and forced through a switch by refusing to travel to a pre-season camp in America.

He eventually got his wish when a deal with Bordeaux was agreed, with DaGrosa claiming that the 34-year-old was desperate to head home after close to a decade in England.

He told Get French Football News: “We were not the only club in France that he considered but Bordeaux was at the top of his list, but again, not the only one on the list.

“His desire was to return to France, and particularly to Bordeaux where he has family, in the region.

“I also think that this concerns this discussion on the subject of young players compared to more experienced players.

“Laurent Koscielny rightly thinks of his conversion [after he has finished playing] and I think that Bordeaux presents a great place for him to stay in the world of football in the decades to come.

“We are therefore delighted to welcome someone of his level and experience, who has long-term goals with the club, after he has put an end to his sporting career.

“These are things we told him about, and I think that resonated with him, and it transcended wage issues. Where does he want to go with his family at the end of his career?

“So we convinced him and insisted that he came to a family, that he would feel at home, that he did not just come to a club.”

Koscielny took in 353 appearances for Arsenal during his time in north London, with a number of those outings coming as captain.

He has already made three starts for Bordeaux since returning to Ligue 1, but has seen his new club make a slow start to 2019-20, with five points collected from four games so far.