Laurent Koscielny's agent says the Arsenal captain was considering following Arsene Wenger out of the club before suffering an injury last season.
Koscielny suffered a torn Achilles tendon in Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final defeat against Atletico Madrid, scuppering plans for a summer move while also ending Koscielny’s World Cup hopes..
The defender isn’t expected to return to action until December, but Arsenal manager Unai Emery showed faith in Koscielny by naming the Frenchman as the club’s captain in August despite the injury.
"At that time, Laurent was playing what might have been his final matches with Arsenal," Koscielny's agent Stephane Courbis told France Football per ESPN. "Laurent started to consider a possible move away from Arsenal at the same time as Arsene.
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"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," he added. "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 previously stated that he expects to leave Arsenal when his contract expires in 2020.
The defender recently returned to training and is making "very good progress" towards a return, according to Emery.