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Skipper Koscielny leaves Arsenal to join Bordeaux

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Skipper Koscielny leaves Arsenal to join Bordeaux
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Group Stage - Group E - Arsenal v Qarabag - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - December 13, 2018 Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny REUTERS/David Klein   -   Copyright  DAVID KLEIN(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Arsenal skipper Laurent Koscielny will end his nine-year spell in north London and join French Ligue 1 side Girondins Bordeaux for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old French centre back, who joined from Lorient, made more than 350 appearances for Arsenal and was part of their FA Cup-winning squads in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Financial details were not disclosed, but British media said Bordeaux would pay up to 5 million pounds for Koscielny, who was also a target for Olympique Lyonnais.

“Laurent Koscielny is leaving us to join… Bordeaux. We thank Laurent for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best for the future,” Arsenal said in a brief statement on their website.

Koscielny, who had a year left on his contract, refused to travel with the squad for their pre-season tour to the United States, to the club’s disappointment.

His departure is a blow to manager Unai Emery, who must look to reinforce the defence as Arsenal look to improve on their fifth-place finish last season.

British media have linked them with a move for RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Daniele Rugani from Juventus.

Arsenal begin the new campaign with a trip to Newcastle United on Sunday.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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