Laurent Koscielny's agent contacted by Manchester United & Chelsea

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Football News

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny's agent has been contacted by Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea as both clubs consider a shock move for the centre-back of a direct title rival, according to France Football.

Koscielny has been key for Arsenal over the last two seasons, forming a partnership with Per Mertesacker that has been the bedrock of a fight for silverware that could finally bear fruit in the FA Cup next month.

The French international has won praise across the continent from a whole host of admirers for his performances and a result his representative Stéphane Courbis has fielded phone calls from United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Monaco in recent months, with Le10 Sport reporting that a five-way transfer fight is on for this summer.

United in particular are searching for a defensive stalwart capable of replacing current captain Nemanja Vidic, who has already committed his future to Inter Milan ahead of next season.

Chelsea are a more unlikely candidate for Koscielny's signature, although Blues boss Jose Mourinho is no stranger to attempting to lure star defender's away from North London if the opportunity presents itself, as proven by a shock Bosman deal for Ashley Cole in 2006.

Barcelona meanwhile are in the midst of fighting a transfer ban encompassing the next two transfer windows, but if any appeal is successful central defensive additions are an urgent priority, with Carles Puyol leaving the Camp Nou this summer.

The 28-year-old also has the pace and technical attributes to fit the bill at Champions League holders Bayern, able to press the ball and provide cover for a high line that commits to retaining possession with intensity.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger finally managed to stave off any interest in his star players and keep a settled side together last summer, a feat the Gunners will be desperate to repeat regardless of whether the boss does indeed sign on the dotted line and lead their charge next season.

Koscielny is under contract at the Emirates until 2017, which means Arsenal hold a very strong position when deciding whether to take any concrete offers for a linchpin off their side seriously during the close season.

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