The agent for Laurent Koscielny said the Arsenal captain was considering leaving the club this summer before he tore an Achilles tendon.
Stephane Courbis told France Football that the centre-back could have followed Arsene Wenger out of Arsenal if he had not been injured in the Europa League semifinal against Atletico Madrid.
“At that time, Laurent was playing what might have been his final matches with Arsenal,” Courbis said. “Laurent started to consider a possible move away from Arsenal at the same time as Arsene. The moment was right, leaving as [a] new coach arrived. I had already anticipated this and two or three offers were making us think hard.”
Wenger announced in May that he would step down at the end of the season after a 22-year-reign. Koscielny was then made captain by Wenger’s successor, Unai Emery, last month, even though he is not expected to be back playing until December.
“We were open to a number of options. China was one, as much as a return to France,” he said. “Laurent could not see himself playing for another English team outside of Arsenal. Since Marseille’s approach last season, the idea of a Ligue 1 return got him thinking — it was a real possibility.”
Koscielny returned to London Colney two weeks ago to continue his rehab work, with Emery saying his presence around the training ground can still have an impact on the team.
“We are happy to have him here with us, because he’s our captain and he’s showing us his spirit to stay with us,” Emery said at the time. “It’s clear that it’s very important to stay with us, working here and showing us that he wants to help us.”
Koscielny told reporters last month that he is likely to leave Arsenal when his contract expires in 2020.
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