Koscielny snubs Barca for Arsenal

French international on why he signed a long-term contract at Emirates

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny revealed he snubbed interest from Barcelona because his focus remained with the Gunners.

Koscielny reportedly attracted the interest of Barca with an impressive campaign last year before going on to represent France at Euro 2012.

However, the 26-year-old opted to ignore calls for a potential move to Camp Nou by signing a new contract with Arsenal, keeping him at the club until 2017.

"My idea was to extend to continue to stay at Arsenal," Koscielny told French radio station RMC.

"Personally, Barca did not contact me. Maybe they did speak to my agents. But I did not talk to them. They knew my position. I wanted to stay here to continue to develop with this club."

Koscielny's long-term commitment to Arsenal comes as a boost to Arsene Wenger, who may lose skipper Robin van Persie this summer after the striker released a statement confirming he will not sign a new deal with with club.

The France international wants to remain under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger and emulate the success of previous French players in north London.
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."