Barcelona need at least one more high-quality centre back if their plans of returning to the top of European football next season are going to be more than simply theoretical. With that in mind, the La Liga champions have approached Arsenal, hoping to put enough money on the table to convince the gunner to sell Laurent Koscielny.
The 27 year old central defender enjoyed his best season since joining Arsenal from Lorient in 2010 (for £8.45 million), getting over his inconsistency and terrible decision making streaks, becoming the leader of the defense, not to mention a scorer of some crucial goals for the club, like the one (for a second straight season) that clinched another finish in the top 4, ensuring some Champions League football.
Barcelona, at the moment, have an aging and injured Carles Puyol; Gerard Pique, who simply looks like an average joe when he doesn’t play next to Puyol; and youngster Marc Bartra, who might get more opportunities and playing time next season. Javier Mascherano has mostly been playing at the position as well, but he’s not a real solution to the defensive problems plauging the team over the last couple of seasons.
According to Sport, Koscielny has been intrigued by the offers and interests in him, specifically from Bayern Munich, coming to his knowledge a couple of weeks ago. He wants to find himself playing on a team that aspires for more than what Arsenal have been, a category which Barcelona qualify for.
For how much? Barcelona are hoping they can get him for €15 million, which is probably cheaper than the other names on their shortlist of central defenders, which includes Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Mats Hummels.
On the other hand, Arsenal have lost too much talent to Barcelona over the years – Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song last season. Wenger is feeling the pressure to field a much more competitive side than before this season, and letting Koscielny go seems like another step in the wrong direction.