Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny is reportedly set for talks after opting against joining up with the Gunners on their pre-season tour of the United States, and a summer exit looks increasingly likely.
The Mirror claims the relationship between Koscielny has been soured after the 33-year-old Frenchman decided to remain in north London, and it has since seen Unai Emery name Granit Xhaka as the club’s new captain.
The 51-time international, who turns 34 in September, has less than 12 months remaining on his contract and if the Gunners are to bring in some cash for his services – he needs to leave this summer.
Meanwhile, north of the border, Celtic need a centre-back. The loss of Dedryck Boyata to Hertha Berlin and loan star Filip Benkovic’s return to Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City has hit the club hard.
Yes, Celtic have signed Christopher Jullien from Toulouse but they still need another centre-back this summer and Koscielny has got to be considered to partner fellow countryman Jullien at the heart of the Hoops defence.
Arsenal failed to qualify for Champions League football last season, while Celtic remain in the process of looking to qualify for the group stages. They booked their place in the second round of qualifying on Wednesday night.
The lure of playing in the Champions League would be tempting for Koscielny. The only issue, though, would be whether the French ace would take a pay cut on his £90,000-a-week contract (Spotrac) at the Emirates.
At almost 34, Koscielny would have surely been expecting to take a pay cut. Celtic may be able to offer a third of that figure, but to remain on these shores and first choice in a Champions League side – it is worth it.
It remains to be seen if Koscielny would join Celtic, but he certainly would be an excellent signing for the Hoops in what would be an enormously ambitious move.