Cape Town - Arsenal manager Unai Emery has explained why he wants Laurent Koscielny to stay despite the experienced centre-back intending to end his career in France.
The 33-year-old skipper refused to travel on a pre-season tour to the United States after his request to have his contract terminated to allow him to join another club was rejected by the Gunners.
Arsenal insisted disciplinary proceedings would be opened against Koscielny, who has been training away from the first-team and has not featured for Unai Emery’s side throughout pre-season.
Having moved to Arsenal from Lorient in 2010 it is understood Koscielny is now keen to return to play in France.
Discussions are continuing in an attempt to find a suitable resolution for both club and player, but it is believed Koscielny is moving closer towards the Emirates Stadium exit door.
However, Emery wants to keep Koscielny at the club this season and is striving to find the “best solution”.
“He’s a very important player for us,” Emery said. “We are speaking with him and with the team, about my responsibilities, the club’s responsibility and his responsibility.
“With respect it’s better for us, it’s better for the team, and it’s changing our idea with the centre-back, because if he is here with us this season, it’s very different than if he isn’t with us.
“At the moment it’s a very personal decision, and we are respecting that. I am speaking with him and we are going to find the best solution, but overall we need a player like him.”