Bordeaux Have Exiled Laurent Koscielny From The First-Team Squad And Stripped Him Of The Captain’s Armband

Les Girondins have only won three games out of 20 in Ligue 1 this season to leave them loitering dangerously close to the relegation zone in 17th.

Koscielny, the 36-year-old former Arsenal captain, has only played 11 of those games due to injury and his errors at centre-back are said to have infuriated the club’s hierarchy given his sizeable wages, believed to be the highest of any player on their books.

Bordeaux have the worst defensive record of any team in the French top flight with 44 goals conceded and they crashed out of the Coupe de France at the start of January with a dismal 3-0 defeat at Stade Brestois.

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L’Equipe claims Vladimir Petkovic’s side have taken drastic action in a bid to arrest their slide, instructing Koscielny to train with the reserves

The report adds the veteran defender will be joined in exile by Paul Baysse and Mehdi Zerkane because of the duo’s behaviour issues, although RMC Sport asserts this is merely an attempt to cut out those on high wages rather than due to disciplinary breaches.

Further players could be cast out as club chiefs decide how to proceed, with Josh Maja, Samuel Kalu and Otavio at risk of joining Koscielny, Baysse and Zerkane in the reserves.

Koscielny’s time with the club has been marred with controversy and injuries since he went on strike at Arsenal to force through the transfer in 2019.

The former France international left Gunners fans and legends livid after 353 appearances across nine years of service by stripping out of his Arsenal kit to show off his new colours in his Bordeaux announcement video.

Petkovic will hope his side can bounce back from three consecutive defeats against Rennes on Sunday, but they face a stern task against a club chasing European qualification.

Bordeaux were defeated 1-0 by Marseille in their last outing after a request to postpone the game was rejected despite their tally of 17 first-team players ruled out with coronavirus.

Petkovic left Koscielny as an unused substitute for the fixture even though his options were severely depleted and Cengiz Under, formerly on loan at Leicester, scored what proved to be the winner late in the first half.

The match was played behind closed doors against the backdrop of protests outside the stadium following the authorities’ decision not to call off the fixture.

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