Arsenal have re-started their pursuit of S.L. Benfica centre-back Rúben Dias after club captain Laurent Koscielny’s refusal to join them on their pre-season tour in the United States.
The 33-year-old’s decision was confirmed on Thursday as Koscielny appears to be angling for a move back to Ligue 1, with Bordeaux and Rennes both interested in signing the defender ahead of the new season.
Koscielny’s exit will leave Arsenal’s already frail defence light in experience, but the Daily Mail claim that the Gunners have already reignited their interest in Portugal international Dias as they look for a potential replacement.
The 22-year-old has been a long-term target for Manchester United in recent years, but Ole Gunnar Solkjaer’s side are expected to face competition for his signature this summer.
It’s claimed that even though Arsenal are prepared to blow their entire transfer budget in landing Dias ahead of the new season, the club still won’t be able to meet the defender’s £54m release clause.
Instead, Arsenal are expected to offer Benfica an overall deal which would exceed his release clause but that would be paid in instalments – crucially with a lower fee upfront – similar to their deal with Atletico Madrid for João Félix.
For Koscielny, his decision to refuse the club’s pre-season tour could result in disciplinary action, but Arsenal don’t want to release the defender from his contract.
With a deal that doesn’t expire until 2020, the Gunners are demanding an £8.8m fee for the former France international this summer.
Girondins de Bordeaux have already offered Koscielny a three-year contract at the Matmut Atlantique.
Source : 90min
Original article: http://www.arsenal-world.co.uk/news/tmnw/arsenal_revive_interest_in_ruben_dias_after_laurent_koscielny_preseason_tour_she_934579/index.shtml