Gunners on verge of defender signing

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Arsenal are on the verge of completing a £10million deal for French defender Laurent Koscielny from Lorient.

Press Association Sport understands a move will be officially confirmed by the Gunners soon, possibly even on Wednesday.

Arsene Wenger has tracked the 24-year-old for some time, as Koscielny, who is also eligible to play for Poland, impressed in the French domestic league.

The Gunners boss is in need of cover at the back, with Sol Campbell mulling over a new one-year deal and fellow veterans William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre set to leave after the end of their contracts.

Koscielny is expected to team up with the Arsenal players who have returned to the club's Hertfordshire training complex this week ahead of the traditional pre-season friendly at Barnet on July 17.

Those who have been in international action will get extra time off, with captain Cesc Fabregas - a target for Barcelona - looking to join Dutch striker Robin van Persie in the World Cup final.

Wenger has already secured the capture of long-term target Marouane Chamakh, the Morocco striker, to bolster the Arsenal attack, which could be missing Nicklas Bendtner ahead of their opening game of the new Barclays Premier League season at Liverpool on August 15.

Fulham's Australia international Mark Schwarzer has been linked with a switch to Emirates Stadium should Wenger decide he needs a more reliable pair of hands in goal next season.

The Gunners boss has been in South Africa working as a pundit for French TV, but will waste no time on his return, with the squad set to head out to their Austrian training base before the Emirates Cup at the end of the month.

By then, Wenger will want Fabregas' future decided one way or another, as Barcelona appear to be growing impatient in the pursuit of their former trainee, but one which new president Sandro Rosell maintains will not come at any cost.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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