Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny nearly left the Gunners this summer, revealed agent Stephane Courbis. The French international was weighing up a handful of offers from other clubs before tearing his Achilles tendon at the end of the season. As per the Independent, Courbis said in an interview with France Football that Koscielny had offers from Ligue 1 and China.
“At that time (May), Laurent was playing what might have been his final matches with Arsenal. Laurent started to consider a possible move away from Arsenal at the same time as Arsene (Wenger). 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.
“We were open to a number of options. China was one, as much as a return to France. 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 genuine possibility.”
Koscielny joined Arsenal from FC Lorient in 2010 and has gone on to make 324 appearances in all competitions, winning three FA Cups and three Community Shields. The 32-year-old has been struggling with achilles problems for some time, however, which threaten to cut his time short with the Gunners.
His deal has two more years to run, but if Koscielny isn’t going to be a regular in the first-team under Unai Emery, he might consider a move elsewhere. The centre-back, through his agent, has already admitted a return to Ligue 1 could be on the cards.
The report states that Koscielny will leave at the end of his contract in 2020 but his short-term future is unknown. Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have partnered each other at the back with varying degrees of success, but Emery might consider bringing back the captain when he’s fully fit.
The new Arsenal manager said: “We are happy to have him here with us (doing light training), because he’s our captain and he’s showing us his spirit to stay with us. It’s clear that it’s very important to stay with us, working here and showing us that he wants to help us.”
Stats from Transfermarkt.