Arsenal boss Unai Emery says he is still doing all he can to convince captain Laurent Koscielny to stay at the Emirates Stadium this summer.
The Frenchman has been expected to leave the Premier League giants after refusing to travel on their pre-season tour of the USA. He is hoping to return to France and has asked Arsenal to release him from his contract 12 months early.
Rennes have shown interest in the former France international, but the Ligue 1 club are yet to meet Arsenal’s valuation. Despite his plans to leave, Emery has confirmed he is doing all he can to keep the player in north London.
“Now it is between the club and him. I fight to convince him, but I respect his decision, a very personal decision, and that situation can only manage with one argument,” said Emery.
“I haven’t lost my hope that he will be with us next year. But at the moment his decision is to leave and we are also thinking if we can improve with other players and how we can help with him.
“With respect it’s better for us, it’s better for the team, and it’s changing our idea with the centre-back, because if he is here with us this season, it’s very different than if he isn’t with us.
“At the moment it’s a very personal decision, and we are respecting that. I am speaking with him and we are going to find the best solution, but overall we need a player like him.”