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 By Mark Rodden

Laurent Koscielny reveals transfer interest but plans Arsenal stay

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny says he rejected interest from other clubs in the past and could end up finishing his career with the Gunners.

On Sunday, Koscielny, 30, helped Arsenal return to the top of the Premier League, ahead of Leicester City on goal difference, after they dug out a 0-0 draw at Stoke City.

The France international has been a key part of a defence that has conceded only 21 goals in 22 league matches this season.

Koscielny's club form has him well placed to start for France at Euro 2016 alongside Real Madrid's Raphael Varane.

Laurent Koscielny
Laurent Koscielny has made 19 Premier League appearances this season.

Now in his sixth season in London, the former Lorient player has not given much thought to quitting a team that has brought him success at club and international level.

"For the moment, I have no reason to go and look elsewhere," he told Le Journal du Dimanche, in an interview published before the game at Stoke. "I have everything I need to blossom.

"There were teams interested in me but I always asked myself if it was worth taking the risk. I've seen a good few players leave for a bigger club and find themselves on the substitutes' bench.

"At the start of my career I was often on the bench. I hated it. I said to myself -- never again."

With 16 matches left, Koscielny believes Arsenal are well placed to win the league thanks to the confidence they have gained from lifting the FA Cup two years in a row.

Having been part of the team that beat Hull City and Aston Villa in the past two FA Cup finals, he is hopeful that the Gunners can claim the Premier League trophy for the first time since 2004.

"The title can't be taken for granted but I prefer to be in this position than to be chasing after the others," he said.

Koscielny said that the Premier League had become "more and more homogenous" and that TV money had allowed "average teams" to sign "very good players who would have signed for the big five until now."

"But after 10 years without a trophy, the cup wins have done us good," he continued. "We had to pass that milestone.

"For the past three years, we've kept our spine. We know each other better so that allows us to win matches that we would have lost before."


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