Giroud, Koscielny, Coquelin pen new Arsenal deals

Thursday January 12 2017

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates after Arsenal score their third goal during their English Premier League match against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on January 3, 2017. PHOTO | GLYN KIRK |

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates after Arsenal score their third goal during their English Premier League match against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on January 3, 2017. PHOTO | GLYN KIRK |  AFP

By AFP
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LONDON

Arsenal's French trio Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin have all agreed contract extensions, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

The club said the three players had signed "long-term" contracts, but did not disclose the duration of their deals.

"We are very pleased that three important members of our team have committed to us for the long term," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on the club website.

"Francis has made tremendous technical strides over the past few years because he's so focused every day.

"Olivier has big experience in the game now and has become a more and more complete player since joining us.

"Laurent is of course a key part of our squad and I believe one of the best defenders in the world today. So overall, this is great news for us."

Striker Giroud, 30, has hit the headlines in recent weeks with four goals in as many games, including a celebrated scorpion kick volley against Crystal Palace.

Centre-back Koscielny, 31, has been a mainstay of the Arsenal defence since signing from Lorient in July 2010 and midfielder Coquelin, 25, has become an important figure since breaking into the first team in early 2015.

Giroud and Koscielny are key members of Didier Deschamps's France squad, but Coquelin is uncapped.

Arsenal are still to negotiate new deals for star forwards Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

Wenger's future is also up in the air, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season.

Second behind champions Leicester City last season, Arsenal are currently fifth in the Premier League ahead of Saturday's trip to second-bottom Swansea City.