Laurent Koscielny claims he decided to leave Arsenal months ago after much consideration as the defender completed a €5 million transfer to Bordeaux.
Although Arsenal tried to convince Koscielny to stay for the final year of his deal at the club, the 33-year-old opted to return to his homeland after nine years with the Gunners.
Koscielny’s move caused controversy among Arsenal supporters as the captain refused to travel with the team for their pre-season tour of the United States as he tried to force an exit.
The last-minute announcement that the defender would not join the squad prompted the gunners to open disciplinary proceedings.
Koscienly took to social media after completing his return to France to reveal that he felt the time was right to leave north London and believes it is a turning point in his life.
“As you know I engaged with [Bordeaux]. After nine years spent at Arsenal, I took the decision to leave,” he wrote in an Instagram post.
“I have spent wonderful years with this club, nine years during which I learned, evolved, grew up.
“This experience made me the player I am today. My decision to leave has been discussed for months with my club, my team-mates, my coach, and it has been a well thought decision.
“I see this departure like a new turning point in my life as a player but also in in my life as a man and a family man.
“However I hope you understand, and in any case I cannot be thankful enough for these years past at Arsenal.
“I am aware of everything that the club and you supporters have brought to me. But it is time for me to go home so today my will is to join [Bordeaux]. This is a new challenge that I count on taking with determination.”
Koscielny joined the Premier League team from Lorient in 2010 and played 353 matches in all competitions, winning the FA Cup three times and reaching a Europa League final at the club.
Arsenal are trying to sign a new centre-back before the transfer window closes on Thursday and have identified RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano as a possible signing, though he is expected to cost around £70m.