Reports suggest that Real Madrid have Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny in their sights for a move this summer.
The 30-year-old is currently enjoying representing host nation France in Euro 2016 and, due to his becoming one of Europe’s top centre-backs, French news website FootMercato are claiming that Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is maintaining a keen interest in him.
Within in the same article, they also claimed that the Gunners’ star defender Koscielny could arrive at the Santiago Bernabéu this summer as a direct replacement for fellow Frenchman Raphaël Varane, if he were to leave Madrid – following speculation that he has been linked with a transfer to Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Manchester United.
Koscielny arrived at Arsenal for a reported sum of £8.45m back in 2010 and – despite suffering in what was a difficult start to his career at the Emirates Stadium – he has gone on to make 180 Premier League appearances and is now regarded as one of the best players in his position in the league.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be desperate to hold on to Koscielny, who has played every minute of France’s four games at Euro 2016 so far and will look to continue that record when the hosts entertain Euro 2016 surprise side Iceland on Sunday evening.
The London club have only two other recognised centre-backs at the club, German World Cup winner Per Mertesacker and Gabriel. Calum Chambers can also deputise in the position, but was rarely used in the role throughout last season.
Another stumbling block in Koscielny leaving is that he is under contract with the Gunners until 2019 and is reported wanted by a significant portion of Arsenal’s fans as Mikel Arteta’s successor as Arsenal captain.
However, Madrid hope that the opportunity to turn out for Los Blancos at the Santiago Bernabéu under French legend Zidane would be enough to convince Koscielny to board the plane to Spain.