Arsenal have started disciplinary proceedings against Laurent Koscielny after the club captain refused to travel with the squad for their pre-season tour.
The Gunners fly to the United States at lunchtime on Thursday, but will travel without their skipper who stunned club chiefs by turning up at London Colney on Thursday morning and announcing he would spend the day training and that he would not be joining the rest of the squad on the coach to the airport.
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The 33-year-old is desperate to return to France this summer and is trying to force through a move, with Bordeaux interested in the experienced defender.
Arsenal chiefs have been made well aware of Koscielny’s desire to leave in the past week, but he is demanding that they release him on a free transfer – something the Gunners will not agree to.
They have pointed out to the centre-back that he still has a year left on his contract, with an option of another – and say he should honour that contract and have told him that they expect him to.
Should an actual offer come in for Koscielny this summer, then they would consider it, but so far there have been no official bids submitted for the defender.
This stance has clearly angered Koscielny, who believes after nine years of service he deserves to leave on his terms.
Arsenal, however, are standing firm and have already started disciplinary proceedings against their captain following his shock decision.
An official statement on the club’s website read: “We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions.
“We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”
Arsenal are due to play four games while on their tour to the United States.
It begins with a game against Colorado Rapids. They then have three International Champions Cup fixtures against Bayern Munich, Fiorentina and Real Madrid before returning home.
Talks will continue with Koscielny during the next fortnight at London Colney to try and find a resolution to the situation, which is an issue Arsenal could do without during what has already been a frustrating summer.
Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli has been the only new arrival so far. A £27 million (€34m) deal has been agreed for Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, but he will spend the coming season back in France on loan with his former club.
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