Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud admits he came close to leaving the club in the transfer window before a discussion with family and Arsene Wenger changed his mind.
The 30-year-old stated last month that he would be staying at Emirates Stadium despite the club-record arrival of Alexandre Lacazette prompting rumours that he could return to Ligue 1.
Giroud says he seriously considered calling time on his career with the Gunners but felt he had more to offer the club in their pursuit of silverware.
"It's true I was close to leaving the club," he told a news conference ahead of Thursday's Europa League match with Cologne. "I said I wanted to play but after big reflection with everybody around me like my family and close friends in a supportive way I decided I wanted to stay at Arsenal.
"I thought the story was not finished at Arsenal. The club has brought me a lot and I want to give it back, improve and win more trophies. I said to the boss 'our story is not finished'."
Giroud is now focused on reaching 100 goals for the club as soon as possible after scoring his 99th in the 4-3 Premier League win over Leicester City on the opening day of the season.
"It's a privilege for me to play for Arsenal and to score almost a hundred goals," he said. "I hope it happens as quickly as it can. For a striker, it's important to score.
"I keep it in a part of my mind but most important for me is to win. After, the goals will come if we play well and win our games."
Compatriot Mathieu Debuchy was another who came close to leaving Arsenal during the transfer window, with Marseille, Nice and Brighton and Hove Albion among those linked with his signature.
The 32-year-old defender admits he is enduring a difficult time in north London, having failed to secure an exit despite being frozen out of the first-team picture.
"These are not easy times," he told L'Equipe. "I wanted to find an exit door but, sadly, it was not possible.
"There was a possibility with Nice, they came to me but it didn't happen. The manager would have let me leave this summer for free. Brighton enquired in the final days of the window, but a deal did not come about...
"I train with the pros during the week and I play with the kids at the weekend. I am not the future of the club... I have proved my worth."
21 de febrero 2018
|Mendy on course for World Cup, says Deschamps|
|Man Utd on dismal knockout run, Roma have Shakhtar curse - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Azpilicueta hoping for greater fortune at Camp Nou|
|Out of nothing he can score goals – Heynckes hails Muller|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Giovinco inspires Toronto, Tigres held|
|Steelers LB Shazier says he´s ´best linebacker ever´|
|Ranieri: I´ll quit Nantes if offered Italy job|
|Thiem keeps title defence on track, Monfils saves match point in Rio|
|Barcelona are great even without Neymar – Willian|
|Del Potro, Raonic progress at Delray Beach|
|Dolphins place franchise tag on Landry|
|Colts QB Luck ´extremely optimistic´ about shoulder rehab|
|Conte wants to see out Chelsea contract but has bags packed|
|A´s respond to Gruden´s belittling of Oakland|
|Yankees acquire Drury in three-team deal with Diamondbacks, Rays|
|Messi goal will give Barcelona more space at Camp Nou – Suarez|
|Serena Williams: I almost died|
|Conte defends ´incredible´ Christensen after Barcelona error|
|Bayern taking nothing for granted after 5-0 demolition – Heynckes|
20 de febrero 2018
|Valverde: Barcelona away goal not definitive for progression|
|Muller & Robben bemoan poor first half despite Bayern rout|
|Ivashka sets up Wawrinka Marseille meeting|
|Chelsea close to a perfect game against Barcelona - Conte|
|Defending for 90 minutes at Barcelona a ´suicide mission´ - Fabregas|
|Championship Review: Villa miss chance to move into promotion places|
|Messi ends his Chelsea hoodoo|
|Texans release all-time leading tackler Brian Cushing|
|Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1: Messi breaks Blues hoodoo to leave tie in the balance|
|Bayern Munich 5 Besiktas 0: Two-goal Muller inspires emphatic win after Vida red|
|Woods and Stricker appointed USA Ryder Cup vice-captains|
|Wales must attack Sexton and Murray - Gatland|
|De Vrij confirms intention to leave Lazio on free transfer|
|Sanchez move down to Champions League frustration at Arsenal - Mourinho|
|Mourinho suggests Pogba is fit to face Sevilla|
|Clinical Kerber strolls past Strycova in Dubai|
|AFC Champions League Review: Hulk & Oscar lead Shanghai, Jeonbuk Motors hit six|
|Cech expects Ospina to start for Arsenal in EFL Cup final|
|Gueye signs new Everton deal until 2022|
|FA charges Man City and Wigan for failing to control players|
|Aguero faces no action over Wigan fan incident|
|Martin released by Buccaneers|
|Las Palmas get green light to sign Viera replacement amid Nasri talk|
|De Kock, De Villiers & Du Plessis looking to Australia Tests|
|FA issues West Ham with anti-doping charge|
|Florenzi a doubt to face Shakhtar, confirms Roma´s Di Francesco|
|Maybe we ´lock him up or tie him up´ – Montella ponders how to stop Sanchez|
|French rugby crisis could last a long time - Magne|
|Pogba and Ibrahimovic train with Man Utd ahead of Sevilla tie|
|Zidane hints at resting Ronaldo for Real Madrid´s trip to Leganes|
|Biggar, Halfpenny and Williams return to Wales´ starting XV|
|Modric adds to Real Madrid injury worries|
|Braehmer pulls out of Super Series semi-final|
|Wolfsburg turn to Labbadia in fight for Bundesliga survival|
|Hales follows Rashid in signing white-ball deal|
|Wigan to investigate pitch invasion after win over Manchester City|
|Drogba ´couldn´t be more proud´ as son signs for Guingamp|
|Stones making no excuses for shock Wigan defeat|
|Bellugi scathing of Inter form and transfer policy|
|Ringrose could make Six Nations impact after comeback|
|Rakitic: I´ve not seen Messi in the gym this often|
|Winter Olympics 2018: Slovenian ice hockey star Jeglic sent home after positive doping test|
|Sevilla v Manchester United: Montella and Mourinho unified in pursuit of identity|
|Besiktas face Bayern test, Messi seeks to end drought - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Jose Morais: The Mourinho acolyte bringing Barcelona to Barnsley|
|I´ve been bored – Ricciardo itching for start of F1 season|
|Rakitic: More to Chelsea than just Hazard|
|Hosmer agrees to eight-year deal with Padres|
|Cilic untroubled as Fognini battles in Rio|
|Sock, Chung through at Delray Beach|
|Klopp tactics behind my form – Salah|