Despite suggestions that Per Mertesacker could return to Germany with either Hannover or Werder Bremen, the BFG insists he wants to stay at the Emirates, according to Spox.
“A renewal with Arsenal is my absolute priority,” he said. “But we have not made an appointment yet to discuss a new deal. Arsenal are my top priority and everything else is just speculation.”
The club captain still hasn’t seen a game for Arsenal since sustaining knee ligament damage during the pre-season.
In that time, Shkodran Mustafi has forged a solid defensive partnership with Laurent Koscielny, and with Rob Holding and Gabriel waiting in the wings it’s difficult to see the World Cup winner reestablishing his role in the center of defense.
The German’s current contract expires this summer, so if his priorities change we could see him talking to other clubs this January. That said, even if Mertesacker can’t find a way back into the first team, his experience and character would still be an asset in the locker room.