Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker is reportedly set to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium after agreeing a new one-year deal with the club.
According to The Times, Arsenal have agreed a new one-year £70,000 a week deal with club captain Per Mertesacker, despite the former Germany international and World Cup winner not playing at all so far this season.
Per Mertesacker has been a rock at the back for Arsenal over the years. With more than 200 appearances and two trophies since his £8 million move from Werder Bremen in 2011, the German was a key figure for Arsene Wenger for five seasons.
However, 2016/17 has been a difficult season for Mertesacker so far. The German World Cup winner has spent the entire duration of the current campaign on the sidelines, after picking up a serious knee injury in a pre-season friendly with Lens, post which he had to undergo a surgical procedure to treat the problem.
Mertesacker has continued his rehabilitation from the injury, and is still three to four weeks away from returning to the first team fold.
As he continues to build up his fitness on the sidelines, there have been suggestions that Arsenal are looking to send Mertesacker out on loan, possibly to Germany, for the rest of the season if Arsene Wenger thinks that the 32-year-old might not be able to feature much for the remainder of their campaign.
Indeed, with Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi striking a formidable partnership at the heart of the Arsenal defence, it is unlikely that Mertesacker will be able to carve out a place as a regular in Arsene Wenger’s first team setup.
With that in mind, a loan move abroad will not only help the German build up match fitness, but also prove to his Arsenal manager that he still deserves to be a part of the Frenchman’s plans for the future.
Wenger did indicate recently that Arsenal would take up the option of extending Mertesacker’s contract, and it looks like the centre-back is set to follow Koscielny, Francis Coquelin and Olivier Giroud in agreeing a new deal with the club after the French trio signed contract extensions last week.
It remains to be seen is whether Wenger decides to send Mertesacker out on loan in January, or keeps the former Germany international at the Emirates Stadium and offers him sporadic runs with the first team.