Amidst the ongoing rumours linking Koscielny with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and PSG, Arsenal management has reportedly started talks with the player in order to tie him down with a new long term deal.
English newspaper Daily Mail has reported today that Arsenal are prepared to lift Koscielny’s salary to £90,000-a-week, bringing it in line with the second tier of earners at the club, who include Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott. Arsenal’s best-paid staff are manager Arsene Wenger and record signing Mesut Ozil.
The 28-year-old has been one of the Gunners’ standout performers for the past two seasons and his form has not gone unnoticed by Europe’s elite.
The fact that Koscielny is reportedly on a wage of £50,000 per week, substantially lower than his fellow Gunners’ defenders means that the clubs are monitoring his situation.
Daily Mail has also reported that manager Wenger has sanctioned an extension for Koscielny amid interest in the centre-back from a string of marquee clubs. Reports in France have claimed that Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are all keeping close tabs.
The Frenchman’s agent arrived at the club’s London Colney training base for talks on Thursday. Koscielny, 28, has steadily improved during his four years at Emirates Stadium following some early teething problems and his central defensive partnership with Per Mertesacker has been the bedrock of Arsenal’s top-four challenge this season and run to the FA Cup final.
Koscielny returned to the team for the 3-1 win over West Ham in midweek following three weeks out with a calf injury and is expected to start in the league clash against Hull City on Sunday.
Koscielny spoke last year of his desire to win trophies with Arsenal, meaning that failure to win in the FA Cup final or qualify for the Champions League could see the defender question his position.
“I want to lift trophies and to have a winning record. I hope the club will give me the means. If this weren’t the case, I’d look elsewhere. I want to win titles and I hope the club have the means.
“I feel good at Arsenal and if the club can compete with the best, I have no reason to leave. But if it fights every year for Champions League qualification it’s hard psychologically to be under such constant pressure.”
However, Failure to win the FA Cup or qualify for the Champions League may make Koscielny seriously consider his future, while, like everybody at the Emirates Stadium, he is keen to see whether Arsène Wenger, the manager, signs a new contract.
Arsenal are also in contract negotiations with Koscielny’s team-mate Bacary Sagna and have not given up on convincing him to stay at the club.