Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny was considering a move away from the club over the summer – until his nightmare injury intervened.
The 32-year-old ruptured his Achilles in the Europa League semi-final defeat away at Atletico Madrid earlier this year.
The horrific injury ended his hopes of playing for eventual winners France at the World Cup, and also ended any ideas he had of following Arsene Wenger out of the Emirates exit door.
Koscielny’s agent Stephane Courbis revealed that the centre-back was considering leaving after Wenger’s announcement that he was quitting the club after 22 years in charge.
Courbis told France Football: “When he banged the floor with his hand, I immediately knew that it was serious, that it was over.
“Everything at that moment went through my mind, including the worst, which was validated when it emerged that it was an Achilles rupture and that he would miss the World Cup.
“Laurent was perhaps playing the final matches of his Arsenal career.
“He started thinking about a possible departure from Arsenal at the same time as Arsene Wenger.
“It was the right moment, the final moment to leave with the arrival of the new manager.
“I had already anticipated this, with two or three offers that were starting to make us think.
“We were open to different options, China as much as France.
“He could not see himself playing for another English team other than Arsenal.
“Since the approach from Marseille least season, the notion of returning to Ligue 1 entered his thinking. It was a genuine possibility.”
France Football added that Lyon, Monaco and Marseille all made offers to the Gunners captain, who has been at Arsenal since a 2010 move from Lorient.
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