Per Mertesacker is yet to feature in what could be his final season at Arsenal.
The German’s contract is set to expire at the end of the campaign, and there doesn’t appear to be an offer on the table as yet for him to extend his stay in North London.
Mertesacker’s chances of earning a new deal diminished hugely when he suffered cartilage damage in his knee in the summer, and in his absence, new signing Shkodran Mustafi has become indispensable in the centre of the defence.
Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny are hands down Arsene Wenger’s preferred pairing, while the likes of Rob Holding have also been filling in.
It’s easy to see why Wenger would rather develop Holding, 20, than hand an olive branch to 32-year-old Mertesacker when he does return to full fitness.
Two of his former clubs, Hannover and Werder Bremen, are reportedly keen to take him back to the Bundesliga, but it sounds like he has little intention of leaving the Premier League.
An extension at Arsenal is an absolute priority for me,” he told Spox.
“But there are no agreements on a schedule for this at the moment.”
“Arsenal is a top priority for me.”
The World Cup winner may have to accept he’s going to play a reduced role if he does add to the five years he’s already spent at the club, but he’s already got his work cut out to convince them he’s worthy of a new deal at all.