Wenger confirms Coquelin will join Valencia

Francis Coquelin is expected to complete a move to Valencia

Valencia are set to sign French midfielder Francis Coquelin from Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has confirmed.

The 26-year-old leaves for Spain in what is expected to be a £12m deal, having joined the Gunners as a youth player in 2008.

He made 105 Premier League appearances and signed a new deal at Arsenal in January 2017.

Wenger confirmed the transfer after Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg draw with Chelsea on Wednesday.

“He goes to Valencia because he didn’t get enough games with us this season and he had an opportunity. I let him go,” said Wenger.

READ: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal: Goalless first leg of Carabao Cup semi-final

Born in Laval, Mayenne, Coquelin began his career playing for AS Laval Bourny before departing in 2005 for the biggest club in the commune, Stade Lavallois.

Coquelin spent three years at the club before being spotted by renowned Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi, while on international duty, playing in a 2008 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship elite round qualification match against Israel.

On 22 July 2008, Coquelin joined Arsenal from Stade Lavallois following a successful trial with the club.

Although he suffered a thigh injury which cut the trial short, Coquelin impressed and was subsequently offered a deal to stay in North London.

Reports in England have claimed that Wenger has agreed to activate the £27m for Boca Juniors midfielder, Cristian Pavon as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez is expected to complete a move to league leaders Manchester City after refusing to sign a new contract at the Emirates.

City have wanted Sánchez since the summer, when they made an attempt to sign him, and, with the 29-year-old running down his Arsenal contract, they have been confident of signing him as a Bosman free agent at the end of the season.

Pep Guardiola will be without Gabriel Jesus for two months because of a medial collateral ligament injury and this has increased the City manager’s desire to sign Sánchez now.

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