Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has neither confirmed nor denied any potential interest in Werder Bremen center back Per Mertesacker, but his comments indicate that something could well be in the works.
Arsenal have already bolstered the back line this summer, with French center back Laurent Koscielny arriving from Lorient last month in a £10m deal. However, after losing three experienced defenders in William Gallas, Sol Campbell, and Mikael Silvestre, Arsenal are still in the market for another defensive addition, and the 6’6’’ Mertesacker is one of several names reportedly on Wenger’s list.
In talking after yesterday’s Emirates Cup win over Celtic, Wenger said no signings were imminent, and he offered no firm answer about Mertesacker, so as not to give much away. But what he did say might well have, as he stated, “I wouldn’t like to comment on names because it raises the price straightaway 50 per cent.”
Mertesacker moved from Hannover 96 to Werder Bremen in a €5m deal after the 2006 World Cup, and he’s been a constant presence at the back for Thomas Schaaf’s side throughout the last four seasons, save for a few injury spells. The 25-year-old also has 69 caps for Germany, and after making his international debut in October 2004, he has been first-choice for Germany in their last four major tournaments, starting with the 2005 Confederations Cup. At the 2010 World Cup, he started all seven games alongside Arne Friedrich as Germany took third place in South Africa.