Arsenal FC has inked defender Laurent Koscielny to a contract extension as the Gunners prepare for the 2012-13 English Premier League season and rumors fly on a possible transfer for Robin Van Persie.
Arsenal would not disclose the terms of Koscielny's contract. The team only said on its website the 26-year-old Frenchman agreed to sign a long-term contract.
Koscielny, a center back, has been one of the most durable players for the Gunners. He leads Arsenal players with 85 starts for the club over the past two seasons.
I'm delighted to have reached agreement with the club, Koscielny said in a statement posted on Arsenal's website. I have had a fantastic time here and look forward to an exciting future with Arsenal.
Arsenal coach Arsène Wenger hailed the move by his club to sign Koscielny.
Laurent has been outstanding for us over the last two seasons. When you consider that until 2009 he was playing in Ligue 2 in France and that he is now performing at the very top level in the Premier League and for his country, the development that he has shown has been absolutely exceptional, Wenger said. Laurent is a top-class player and I am very pleased he has decided to commit his future to the club.
Signing Koscielny to a long-term deal shows Arsenal is willing to spend money. The London-based club has been dogged by its stingy reputation of finding gems, building up their values and transferring them to other clubs.
The Gunners were put in a pickle by Robin van Persie, who wants out of Arsenal. The Dutch forward's public declaration that he wants a transfer lowers his value.
The latest club to be linked to van Persie transfer rumours is Italian Serie A Champions Juventus, who went undefeated in their league.
Van Persie is amenable to a move to Juve, Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph reported.
Arsenal wants transfer bids for Van Persie to be around £20 million, and The Telegraph is reporting that Juventus' offer will be in that range.
Should Juve land van Persie, they're prepared to pay him wages of £190,000 a week, the tabloid reported.That figure would make van Persie the highest paid player in the Italian club's history.