Report: Rafa Benitez ready to pursue Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny this summer

Laurent Koscielny

The new Real Madrid boss wants to put his own stamp on the Spanish giants, with Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny reported to be on his list of summer targets.

Laurent Koscielny has established himself as one of the best and most reliable central defenders in the Premier League. The Frenchman used to be known for his error prone nature, but that reputation has subsided after two years of superb consistency.

His partnership with Per Mertesacker at the heart of the Arsenal backline is a major reason behind their improvement in the Premier League and their success in the FA Cup over the last two seasons.

The Gunners’ victory over Aston Villa last weekend was their second consecutive FA Cup triumph, and Koscielny has been a cornerstone of Arsene Wenger’s side throughout.

He is a tidy, ball-playing defender, with an 89% pass accuracy this season, who has excellent speed to recover his position, too. Koscielny also has a loud voice and at 29-years-old is a more experienced member of this youthful Arsenal team.

Koscielny is a dominant force in the air, having won 56% of his aerial duels this season, and his tally of just four bookings shows that he is an extremely disciplined performer who can now be relied upon week in, week out.

His stellar performances have inevitably led to speculation regarding his long-term future at Arsenal. Koscielny is a major transfer target for Rafa Benitez as he looks to make his mark on his new club Real Madrid, per Talksport.

The former Liverpool manager is a long-time admirer of Koscielny and is hoping to unite him with his French colleagues Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane at the Santiago Bernabeu next season.

Although Arsenal are expected to reject any offer for their prized asset, any interest from Madrid has to be worrying as they have a history of getting whichever target they are after, no matter who they play for.

If the Spanish giants are serious about Koscielny, they will offer big money to Arsenal for his services and could force the Gunners to buckle.

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