Werder Bremen Have No Plans To Sell £12m Arsenal Target

No offers have been received for German international defender from Arsenal or elsewhere.

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Germany's Per Mertesacker (L) and Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer celebrate after their 2010 World Cup second round soccer match against England at Free State stadium in Bloemfontein June 27, 2010. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

Arsenal are clearly one of the best attacking forces in the league – and making getting closer and closer to the title – but it was their defence that let them down last season. They conceded 41 goals in 38 games – 13 more than Manchester United in the same period.

The two losses to Chelsea were the biggest blows to their hopes, with Drogba scoring four goals in the two games against a shorter and physically weaker central defence pairing of William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen.

At 6’6″ and strong as an ox, Per Mertesacker would be an excellent solution to these issues for the Gunners, but they will have a hard time prising him from Werder Bremen. Having looked weak at set pieces in pre-season friendlies, the giant German would provide organisation and height to the Arsenal defence.

As can be seen above, Mertesacker towers even over Germany international goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who is 6 ft 4 1?2 in. At 25 years old, he has already played in two World Cups as first choice centre back for his international side, and achieved third place in both 2006 and 2010.

With an excellent disciplinary record and frequent goals from set pieces (five in the Bundesliga last season), he would be a perfect fit for Arsenal, and excellent foil for the more cultured Thomas Vermaelen. However, his club Werder Bremen do not want to sell.

“I have already said on a couple of occasions that Per will be staying on at our club and will go on playing for Werder Bremen,” said Werder Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs. “Nothing has changed with regard to this and neither Per nor his agent have come to us saying that they have received an offer.” (Bild)

With Sol Campbell, William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre all departing this summer, the signing of Laurent Koscielny is not enough cover for a full season. Thankfully Wenger has intimated that he is looking to sign one more centre back, but if Bremen refuse to sell, and Everton continue to play hardball over Phil Jagielka, then Arsenal may be forced to look elsewhere. Bolton defender Gary Cahill is the second in line after Mertesacker.

Alexander Song has grown well into the defensive midfield role vacated by Mathieu Flamini, and perhaps that void is now filled, and if Wenger is also able to secure a top level goalkeeper Arsenal’s squad could seriously challenge for the title… should Fabregas stay in North London of course.

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