Laurent Koscielny's agent has revealed that there was 'a genuine possibility' that the Arsenal captain could have left the Emirates in search of pastures new this summer.
The French international had his 2017/18 season cut short after he sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon against Atletico Madrid back in May. The defender was forced to miss the World Cup in Russia and has yet to return to action as he continues to recover from that same injury.
The 32-year-old has been with the Gunners since 2010 but his agent, Stephane Courbis, has revealed that his time in north London was very close to being cut short this summer.
“Laurent was perhaps playing the final matches of his Arsenal career,” Courbis told France Football.
“He started thinking about a possible departure from Arsenal at the same time as Arsène Wenger. It was the right moment, the final moment to leave with the arrival of the new manager."
Despite the fact that Koscielny was clearly open to a move away from Arsenal, Courbis also insisted that his client would not be willing to join another team in England and that a move to either France or China was the most likely outcome.
“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 last season, the notion of returning to Ligue 1 entered his thinking. It was a genuine possibility.”
Koscielny is expected to return to full fitness in December and he will be a welcome addition to the side. So far this season Unai Emery's side have struggled in defence and the Frenchman would no doubt add some much needed steel to the shaky back line.