'We need to keep moving forward': Unai Emery discusses Laurent Koscielny situation as Arsenal begin US tour with win

Telegraph Sport
The Telegraph
The Arsenal captain refused to travel with the club to America - Arsenal FC
The Arsenal captain refused to travel with the club to America - Arsenal FC

Arsenal manager Unai Emery said he is awaiting a decision on Laurent Koscielny after the captain refused to travel with the squad for their pre-season tour to the United States but added the Premier League club must "keep moving ahead" regardless.

The 33-year-old French centre back, who has a year left on his contract, has been linked with a switch to Ligue 1 clubs  Bordeaux and Lyon.

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"I spoke with him three times for his situation. We wanted him to come with us but he decided to stay," Emery told a news conference after Arsenal defeated Colorado Rapids 3-0 with teenager Gabriel Martinelli scoring on his debut. 

"For me now, it's clear. We need to keep moving ahead. We're playing with the spirit to create a new way."

Emery said Koscielny, who joined Arsenal from French side Lorient in 2010 and has made over 350 appearances, was still an "important player".

<span>Gabriel Martinelli celebrates scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the pre-season friendly with Colorado Rapids </span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Gabriel Martinelli celebrates scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the pre-season friendly with Colorado Rapids  Credit: Getty Images

"Now it's a matter for him and the club," the manager said. "They need to speak and are speaking about his situation ... I'm waiting on his conversation and decision ... I can't say more than that."

Meanwhile Olivier Giroud told the BBC his former team-mate is "very hurt" by the conflict and that he hoped both Arsenal and Koscielny  "will find the best agreement."

The Chelsea and France striker, who played for Arsenal between 2012 and 2018, said: "You cannot make a judgement when you don't have all the clues. I'm pretty sure we don't know everything in this situation.:

Arsenal take on Bayern Munich on Wednesday, before matches against Fiorentina and Real Madrid as part of the International Champions Cup.

Emery's side, who finished fifth in the league last season, kick off their new campaign at Newcastle United on Aug. 11.

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