UNAI EMERY asked Laurent Koscielny THREE times to travel to the United States for Arsenal’s pre-season tour.
But the Arsenal captain stubbornly refused the manager’s request every time.
2 Laurent Koscielny's future is still up in the air after rejecting Unai Emery's pleas to join the US tour three timesCredit: AP:Associated Press
And now Emery admits he doesn’t know if Koscielny still has a future at the club.
Speaking for the first time since the veteran defender downed tools in order to force through a move back to France. Emery confirmed: “Koscielny started training with us this pre-season and I spoke with him three times about his situation.
“We wanted him to travel with us to America on this tour but he decided to stay in England.
“Now it is a matter for him and the club to sort out.
“He has one year left on his contract and for me as a coach, he is an important player for Arsenal.
“The club and him need to speak and I believe they are talking about this situation.
“I spoke with him last week but now he is speaking only with the club. It his decision and I cannot say more than that.
“For me it is now clear that we need to move ahead and we are here in America with the players who have the spirit to create that new way.”
Koscielny, 33, believes he should be allowed to leave Arsenal as a free agent after being offered a lucrative three-year contract by Bordeaux.
And now he is facing a fine of two weeks’ wages after being ordered to train with the kids back in London.
Koscielny’s industrial action has left Emery facing a major defensive headache with the new season less than a month away.
Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavrapanos are all unlikely to be fit for the big kick-off while the club are still struggling to bring in reinforcements.
They are still haggling over terms for a £25million deal for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney while Spurs are trying to hijack Arsenal’s £25m bid for Saint-Etienne youngster William Saliba.
Emery admitted: “The club is working for new signings and we are speaking every day with the club and with Edu about that. We have very good young players but we need someone to help us.
“But I prefer to work with patience and calm to take the best decisions. If for this season we need to wait for some more time, I prefer to do that.”
Emery was speaking after last night’s 3-0 win against Colorado Rapids in their first pre-season game.
The Gunners started with seven teenagers in their starting line-up and Emery’s faith was rewarded by goals from Bukayo Saka, James Olayinka and Gabriel Martinelli.
2 The Gunners boss is desperate to see the club sign more defenders before the transfer window closesCredit: Getty Images – Getty
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It was a dream debut for 18-year-old Martinelli, Arsenal’s only signing so far this summer.
The £6m Brazilian winger scored a stunning goal with his chest to seal a comfortable victory and Emery said: “The first match was a good opportunity to use some different young player and give them the chance to show their quality and their commitment to work for the team.
“Our idea is to give every young player chances to be us with us, first on the training ground and then playing in matches like today.”