Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal have begun talks with Per Mertesacker about a new contract but stressed that with 18 months left on the BFG’s contract there’s no rush to thrash out a deal.
The German centre-back, who joined the Gunners from Werder Bremen on deadline day 2011 for around £8 million, took his time settling into the cut and thrust of Premier League life but after an injury-marred first season consolidated his first team credentials last term by forming a very solid partnership with Laurent Koscielny.
Starting to earn the plaudits he deserves (apparently you have to score the winning goal against England to get noticed by most of Fleet Street) the 29-year-old is likely to be offered a two-year extension which would keep him under contract until 2017.
Speaking to the press ahead of the game against Southampton Wenger remarked talks were in ‘progress’, and that, “he has 1 and a half years left so there is plenty of time.”
Arsenal recently tied down Wojciech Szczesny to a new long-term contract although long-standing squad members Tomas Rosicky and Bacary Sagna are both free agents at the end of the current season. As is Wenger himself.