By Amir Mir
Arsenal are set to hold contract talks with Per Mertesacker this month, according to a report.
Sky Sports claim that the Gunners have the option of extending his current deal which expires in the summer.
The 32-year-old senior player has not played for Arsene Wenger’s side this season after suffering a knee injury during pre-season.
It is said that “there is nothing to suggest” that the World Cup winner can leave during the January transfer window after The Times reported that the club were considering putting him out on loan.
During the summer Wenger purchased two centre-backs, youngster Rob Holding from Bolton and Mertesacker’s German counterpart Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia.
Despite not featuring at all during this campaign, Mertesacker did play 36 games in all competitions last season.
According to the Daily Star, the former Werder Bremen defender earns £70,000-a-week at the north London club.
Aside from Mertesacker, Wenger at this moment in time has four centre-backs to choose from, Laurent Koscielny, Mustafi, Holding and Gabriel.
Football Insider verdict:
Per Mertesacker has been a great servant to Arsenal but it is time for him to leave. At this moment in time, the club should look to develop the partnership of Mustafi and Koscielny with Rob Holding as back-up. Therefore, at 32, Mertesacker then fails to bring any long-term planning to the club. The only benefit of keeping the German would be to use his experience to help Mustafi and Holding develop into top-class centre-backs. However, he will most likely still have aspirations of playing at the top level and perhaps moving back to his boyhood club of Werder Bremen is the best option for him. That would suit both parties as he has also fallen down the pecking order at the north London club.
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