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Thursday 21 November 2019

Emery blow as Koscielny exits Gunners

Gone: Laurent Koscielny
Gone: Laurent Koscielny

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 yesterday.

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 £5million 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.

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.

On Merseyside, Moise Kean, 19, has extra motivation to shine for Everton following the reaction from fans since he joined the club from Juventus on Sunday on a five-year contract.

In April, Kean was subjected to racist abuse from the stands in a 2-0 Serie A win at Cagliari.

A JustGiving page was created on Sunday which said it was to fund a banner for Goodison Park that will "show Kean we are a family at Everton and united against racism."

Yesterday afternoon, it had over 200 supporters, with the the total raised more than £2,500 - the target had been £1,000.

When asked about it, Kean said: "It is beautiful. I'm going to repay the fans for all they do for me. I am feeling even more motivated and willing to repay them by training at 100pc of my ability and giving the maximum I can."

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