Coquelin leaving Arsenal for Valencia – reports
Francis Coquelin has joined Valencia from Arsenal for £12m. The 26-year-old defensive midfielder’s opportunities have dried up this season and the 26-year-old started only one game in the Premier League.
Arsène Wenger said on Wednesday night: “He goes to Valencia. Because he didn’t get enough games with us this season and he had an opportunity and I let him go.”
The Frenchman had enjoyed a degree of prominence under Wenger after his return from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic in December 2014 – most notably when he formed a partnership with Santi Cazorla.
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Valencia are third in La Liga and moved decisively to head off Coquelin’s suitors in England – West Ham United and Crystal Palace had shown interest.
Coquelin trained at Arsenal’s London Colney base on Tuesday but he was never in consideration to play against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge. He had also been left out of the squad who lost at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Sunday, as his departure came to look inevitable. His Arsenal contract expires in 2020.
Coquelin’s departure is another sign Jack Wilshere is set to stay. The midfielder, who has won back his place in Wenger’s favoured XI, has been in negotiations over a new contract to replace the one that will expire at the end of the season. He has always made it plain his priority is to remain at his boyhood club.