MX23RW : Tuesday, February 19 05:41:01

Agent: 'Laurent Koscielny came close to leaving Arsenal'

Agent: 'Koscielny came close to leaving'
© Reuters
Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny considered leaving the club before being struck down by injury, according to his agent Stephane Courbis.

The agent of Laurent Koscielny has claimed that the Arsenal centre-back strongly considered leaving the club this summer and returning to France.

Koscielny has been the subject of strong interest from Marseille in the past, while fellow Ligue 1 sides Lyon and Monaco have also made enquiries.

The 32-year-old remains an Arsenal player, though, having sustained a long-term injury towards the end of 2017-18 that ruled him out of the World Cup and the first half of this season.

Agent Stephane Courbis has now suggested that, if not for the Achilles injury, club captain Koscielny would possibly be plying his trade away from the Emirates Stadium.

"We opened up various paths for Laurent, both in China and in France. He could not see himself playing for another English club after Arsenal," he told France Football magazine.

"Ever since Marseille made an approach for him in the previous season, the idea of returning to Ligue 1 at the age of 32 has gone around his head.

"There was a genuine possibility of it happening. Lyon were the strongest contender for his signature, especially as they have qualified for the Champions League. Monaco were also in the running for him.

"There was still an active link with Marseille, as Laurent's centre-back partnership with Adil Rami was a proven success in the France national team - especially during Euro 2016. The idea of signing Laurent was still going through the minds of Marseille's people at he time he got injured."

Koscielny returned to the training ground last month, but no timeframe has been given for his return to competitive action.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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