According to The Times [paywalled], Arsenal could allow Per Mertesacker to go out on loan this month with a view to giving the defender a chance to prove he deserves a new contract.
The World Cup winner is closing in on full fitness after undergoing surgery in August on damaged knee ligaments, however, it’s recognised that he’ll be well down the centre-back pecking order when he returns.
Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi appear to be Arsene Wenger’s first choice pairing with Gabriel and Rob Holding offering back-up. The boss has already made clear that he won’t be loaning out the latter this season.
Given Mertesacker was made club captain, not to mention the fact injuries and suspensions could strike at any time, it would be a very unusual decision to allow the 32-year-old to leave on a temporary basis. His current deal ends in the summer.
The Times claim that the BFG wouldn’t be allowed to join a Premier League club and that a decision won’t be taken until the closing stages of the January transfer window.
We’re not convinced.