Girondins de Bordeaux Chairman Joe DaGrosa has suggested it was Bordeaux’s ability to convince Laurent Koscielny of his long-term future with the club that enabled them to sign him this summer.
Speaking to GFFN over the weekend, DaGrosa discussed Koscielny’s recent move from Arsenal to Bordeaux.
The former Arsenal captain had spent nine years in North London, but it all came to a rather bitter end as the French international refused to travel on tour to force a way out of the club this summer.
The 34-year-old wanted to return to France on a free transfer, but Arsenal eventually managed to negotiate a fee with Bordeaux to suit all parties. DaGrosa explained how they managed to convince Koscielny to join them over some of his other options in the country.
It really starts with Laurent wanting to come back to France. We were not the only club in France that he was considering. Certainly, Bordeaux I have to believe was at the very top of his list, but by no means was Bordeaux the exclusive club on the list.
“I think it started with his desire to get back to France and specifically Bordeaux, he’s got family in and around the area,” DaGrosa said.
“Koscielny is thinking about his future, and rightly so, for when he’s no longer playing the game. I think Bordeaux presents a great place for him to stay in the football business for decades to come.
“We would welcome someone of his talent and skill and experience to help us with our plan for the club after his playing days are over and that’s one of the things we talked to him about. I think it resonated with him.
“It transcends salaries and compensation, it’s about what is the vision for you and your family going forward. I think we made a very strong case that he was coming to a home, he wasn’t just coming to a club.”
When pressed on the manner of Koscielny’s departure, and asked about the way Arsenal fans’ anger towards the player, DaGrosa simply reiterated that it was the right call for the centre-back.
“I think he made the right decision for not just himself, but for his family. He’s really thinking long term, and it takes a high level of maturity to think that way. We’re just delighted to have him in Bordeaux.”
There’s certainly some truth in the idea that Koscielny has guaranteed himself more of a future in football with this move. If he’d remained in England until his retirement, and then tried to find a coaching job in France, that would absolutely have been a lot more difficult.
The transition should be a lot more simple now, just moving behind the scenes with Bordeaux when his playing days are over. It’s just a huge shame the way he went about achieving that goal.
The very worst-case scenario would have been that he asked to leave, Arsenal refused and he had to stay for one year longer – at most. Alternatively, Arsenal may well have relented and sold him even if he’d gone on tour, as they did with Nacho Monreal.
Instead, Koscielny tarnished his time with the club just to fully guarantee an extra year in France. He’ll have to decide for himself whether it was worth it.