Arsenal on the Brink of Acquiring Laurent Koscielny

Joseph MillardCorrespondent IJune 29, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 10:  Arsene Wenger visits the Nike community training centre in Soweto on June 10, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images for Nike)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Good morning to you. The fallout continues from England's deserved exit from the World Cup on Sunday, but happily at a safe enough distance that it can be ignored if one is sufficiently determined to.

As the World Cup continues of course, more and more teams go home and the tournament becomes less and less of an obstacle to Arsenal transfer business, which will be the main talking point of the next few weeks till we get some preseason friendlies to distract us.

The main news this morning concerns defender Laurent Koscielny, whom we've reportedly been close to signing for a while now. The Sun reports it as a done deal, but as always what they say is to be taken with a bucket of salt. Nether the less all the stars seem to be in alignment with this one and fingers crossed we should have the official word soon.

Young Guns reported a few days ago that the amicable nature of the Koscielny deal has lead to the possible establishment of a long term youth link-up between the two clubs. Of course, Francis Coquelin has already joined Lorient on loan for this season and it will be interesting to see the benefit that brings him. I can certainly think of worse places for our players to go on loan than the top division in France.

So, with Koscielny apparently imminent, the defensive exodus we were promised this summer is somewhat balanced at the moment. So far Phillipe Senderos has left, and although no official announcement from the club has been forthcoming regarding William Gallas, I think it's safe to count him as gone.

Senderos wasn't even part of the squad for the last months of last season, so his departure is I think more than compensated by the return to action of Djourou, and now Gallas' departure looks to be balanced by the signing of Koscielny. So yes, so far we are two defenders down, but both are, in my opinion, adequately replaced.

It remains to be seen what will become of Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre. I imagine most fans would be more upset to see Silvestre stay than leave no matter how many players we lose. Sol, I've said many times that I want to see him stay but it seems more unlikely the longer this situation drags on.

The manager has said in the past he likes to have four centre halves, so at the moment the four would consist of Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielny, and Campbell. The only way I see another defender coming in is if Campbell's departure is confirmed, so we'll have to wait for news on that before any other signings.

Of course now that England's participation in the World Cup is over, we may see a resolution to the question of Joe Cole's future. The Mirror reports it as a two-way race between ourselves and Spurs. The Mirror also claims that if we were to bring him in it would mean the end for one of our current forward players.

The two names it puts forward are Rosicky and Eduardo. Personally, I don't see the manager being keen to get rid of Rosicky—if the bloke can stay fit for five minutes he does inject some life into our attack when it's badly needed.

As for Eduardo, given the manager's current preference for a 4-3-3 formation, the arrival of Chamakh means the additional signing of Cole would surely leave Eduardo very marginalised indeed. It's sad to say but talk of his departure does seem to be gathering pace.

It's a bit quiet on the Mark Schwarzer front. There were reports we'd gone back to Fulham with an improved bid a few days ago but nothing since then. Australia have been out of the World Cup for a little while now so you'd have thought there's no barrier to proceeding with negotiations now, unless, shock horror, another goalkeeper has taken our fancy?

I'll leave you to ponder that bombshell as I need some breakfast. Take it easy, more tomorrow.