Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have approached Arsenal over a summer transfer for centre-back Laurent Koscielny. Goal.com believes the French international has been valued at £20m and that Arsene Wenger is confident of retaining his services, despite the prospect of signing for the side that hammered Barcelona 7-0 in the Champions League semi final.
Koscielny was part of the Arsenal side that played the Bavarians in the first knock-out round of the Champions League. The 27-year-old scored the second goal in his club's 2-0 defeat of Jupp Heynckes' side. Unfortunately, the win in the Allianz Arena was not enough to cancel the 1-3 loss at the Emirates and Bayern progressed on away goals.
The defender has four years to run on his Arsenal contract but is likely to be the subject of intense interest from Bayern, who have been asked to pursue his signature by incoming coach Pep Guardiola.
As far as Wenger is concerned, Koscielny remains key to his future plans for the club. The Frenchman has formed a good partnership with German international Per Mertesacker, having displaced club captain Thomas Vermaelen in the process; the Belgian has been linked with a move to Barcelona.
However, should Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League next season, Koscielny may be tempted to swap London for Munich. The Bavarian club were linked with a bid for his services early in April as well.
Wenger on Podolski
Meanwhile, Wenger believes German international Lukas Podolski could be a key striker for the club. The former Bayern forward was deployed in the central role normally reserved for Frenchman Olivier Giroud, in last weekend's Premier League game against Manchester United.
"I believe so, he has the qualities because he is a good finisher. He has a good technique and because we have a game based on very quick combinations I believe he can be a part of that. At the moment, yes [I will play Podolski in the middle]. A definite decision has not been made," Wenger told his club's Website.