The Gunners boss concedes the Frenchman could leave Emirates Stadium, with club officials now working on a “solution” which suits both parties
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has expressed a desire to “continue working with the players that want to be here”, after revealing that Laurent Koscielny is close to a summer exit.
The 33-year-old caused a stir earlier this month when he refused to travel with the Gunners squad for a pre-season tour of the United States, amid rumours of a potential return to France.
Arsenal have already opened disciplinary proceedings against the veteran centre-back, who has reportedly expressed a desire to leave the club on a free transfer.
Koscielny still has one year remaining on his existing contract at Emirates Stadium, which the club expect him to honour, but they are also open to any offers from potential suitors.
Ligue 1 duo Rennes and Bordeaux have both been heavily linked with the Frenchman’s services, but no formal bids have been submitted as of yet.
Emery’s side have won three of their four pre-season games to date, most notably claiming the scalp of German champions Bayern Munich with a 2-1 triumph last Thursday.
The Gunners suffered their first defeat in the International Champions Cup against Real Madrid on penalties on Tuesday night and Emery discussed Koscielny’s future after the match.
The 47-year-old manager confessed the France international is on his way out of the club and he expects a swift resolution to the issue before the start of the new season.
“I tried to continue working and finding one solution between the club, between him and us,” Emery told Arsenal’s official website.
“When he decided not to come here with us on tour, the solution is now only for the club and him.
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“He decided to be out. I respect him but I have a responsibility, he has a responsibility, and the club have their responsibility.
“Now it’s an issue only for the club and him. My idea is to continue with the players we are working with, and the players that want to be here.”
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both got themselves on the scoresheet against Madrid on Tuesday, continuing their rich vein of form as a forward pairing.
Emery was pleased with the duo’s latest display and is looking forward to experimenting with different systems in attack throughout the 2019-20 campaign.
“Their combination is very good but they can play both,” he added. “They were playing both and sometimes we are playing with one striker or two strikers or with one as a winger.
“Aubameyang can play like a striker alone, like a striker with two and can play as a winger on the right or the left. But above all with him, we want to be very aggressive in the attacking third and moving forward to score with him.
“When we are deciding to play with another player maybe they are more of a one-to-one winger or a player like Mesut, a player who goes deep to take the ball and keep our possession with him in the pitch.
“It’s different in each moment and each match. But above all, with Aubameyang, we can take different options with him and he is very good and very rich for us.”