Laurent Koscielny could be heading to Bayern Munich in the summer as Pep Guardiola has identified him as one of his key transfer targets.
The Daily Mail report that the incoming Bayern manager is a long term admirer of the defender and had tracked him while he was in charge of Barcelona.
Bayern will need a replacement for veteran defender Daniel van Buyten who is set to leave at the end of the season. The Belgian international has been at the German giants since 2006 and has helped them win eight trophies including three Bundesliga titles.
However, he has found first team opportunities to be limited at the Allianz Arena in the last couple of years and has only played 21 league games in the last two seasons.
Ideal replacement for van Buyten
Guardiola believes that Koscielny has the class and temperament to take over from van Buyten. The 27-year-old’s performance against Bayern in this season’s Champions League was enough to convince Bayern that he would be a hit in the Bundesliga.
The French star has been superb for the last couple of seasons after a shaky start to his Gunners career. His form in recent weeks alongside German international Per Mertesacker has been good enough to keep Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen out of the side.
He has also forced his way into the French national side and won nine caps for his country since 2011.
Arsenal want him to stay
Arsenal will do everything they can to keep Koscielny. He has four years remaining on his contract and has spoken about how much he enjoys living in London.
There has been a lot of talk recently about the Gunners preparing for a big spending spree in the summer.
Wenger knows he needs to add some word class talent to his team and will be desperate to avoid the club’s recent pattern of selling it’s best players every summer.