According to reports in France, Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny is on the verge of signing a new contract that will keep him at the Emirates till 2020.
The 31-year-old centre-back has been a key figure in the Gunners’ team since arriving from French side FC Lorient in 2010. Koscielny has since notched up over 250 appearances for Arsenal, scoring an impressive 22 goals as well as being their defensive leader.
Arsenal are prepared to reward their star defender by giving him a substantial wage increase and extending his contract by another year to 2020, according to French publication L’Equipe. However, the report wrongly states that his current contract expires in 2017. According to transfermarkt, Koscielny’s current deal runs till 2019.
Regardless of the contradicting reports surrounding his current deal, the central defender is believed to be keen on the contract extension.
If Koscielny sees out the new contract, he will become the club’s longest serving French player.
Arsenal have recruited heavily from France since the arrival of manager Arsene Wenger. The likes of Samir Nasri andBacary Sagna have come and gone, while Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires achieved legendary status at the club.
Vieira currently holds the record as Arsenal’s longest serving French player, having played for the club for nine years between 1996 and 2005. Koscielny could go one better if he stays till 2020, at which point he would be 35 years old.
Manager Arsene Wenger has earlier stated that he believes Koscielny is on the verge of entering his peak years as a defender between the age of 30 and 34.
The Frenchman has earned plaudits this season with his solid performances. It is telling that the only match in which Koscielny did not play was the one that Arsenal lost on the opening day to Liverpool. They let in four goals in his one game absence, but have allowed only seven in the subsequent ten games in which he has featured.