Arsenal step-up chase for French star

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has reportedly increased his offer for French defender Laurent Koscielny.

The Lorient centre back impressed for the Ligue 1 surprise package last season, and Arsenal are thought to have made an improved £8.2 million bid to bring the 24-year-old to the Emirates.

Koscielny started his career at En Avant Guingamp, making his debut for the former Ligue 2 side as a teenager in 2004. After starting his career as a full back, the versatile defender switched to a central position and began to flourish.

He earned a switch to Tours FC in 2007, and spent two years growing on his reputation before making the move to the top level in France last summer. Les Merlus paid a fee in the region of £1.2 million for the defender.

The Gunners are known admirers of Koscielny, and are thought to have had a £6 million bid rejected for the player a few weeks ago. Lorient chairman Loic Fery responded saying: "What we want is that if players have true quality, and they must leave Lorient, then they should for a good price."

Wenger was thought to be contemplating a new offer, possibly involving youngster Francis Coquelin, but the Daily Mirror reports that the north London club have made an increased cash offer.

With Sol Campbell, William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre all facing uncertain futures at the Emirates, Wenger appears eager to land his young compatriot as he looks to build a title challenging side next season.

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