Koscielny snubs Barca for Gunners
Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny has revealed he snubbed interest from Barcelona to sign a new five-year deal with them.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 27/07/12 6:19pm
Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has revealed he snubbed interest from Barcelona to sign a new five-year deal with the club.
The 26-year-old blossomed into the club's outstanding defender last season after arriving at the Emirates from Ligue 1 side Lorient in 2010.
His improved displays were also noted by the Catalan outfit who are seeking to reinforce their defence before the start of the new La Liga campaign.
However, the France international wants to remain under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger and emulate the success of previous French players in north London.
"I am so happy to have signed a new contract until 2017, it means a lot, notably that the club has a lot of trust in me," he told L'Equipe. "In 2017, I will be almost old."
Despite failing to retain their La Liga crown and falling short in the Champions League last year, Barcelona are still largely regarded as the best team in the world.
When asked if he was aware of their interest, Koscienly added: "Yes of course and frankly it is flattering. But at Arsenal I have everything; I have a great training centre, a wonderful stadium and an amazing group.
"I really want to grow here as Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and some others did."