Olivier Giroud says he stayed at Arsenal as he has unfinished business with the club.
The striker was heavily linked with a move away from the Emirates over the summer as he wanted regular game time ahead of next year’s World Cup.
Everton, Marseille and West Ham were all interested in the France international, but in the end he stayed put.
Now Giroud has explained he decided not to push for a transfer as he believes he has more to achieve at Arsenal along with boss Arsene Wenger.
“Actually that’s a very private decision because it’s true that I was close to leaving the club because I said that I wanted to play,” said Giroud.
“But after a big reflection with everybody around me like my family and my close friends in a supportive way, I wanted to stay at Arsenal and I thought the story was not over at Arsenal.
“The club brings me a lot and I think I give it back and I still want to improve again and again and win some more trophies for the club.
“So as I said to the boss our story was not finished, so everybody was pleased with that.”
Wenger has always maintained his desire to keep Giroud – who has 99 goals for the club – at Arsenal and was full of praise for the striker on the eve of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Cologne.
“I have said many times that his contribution has been huge,” he said.
“He has had a great evolution here and overall (his) contribution has been tremendous, and I think he has shown a very loyal spirit and has a high respect from everybody inside the club, as well as (from) our fans.”