Per Mertesacker furiously rubbished rumours that he plans to leave Arsenal for his native Germany at the end of the season, stating emphatically: “I have no intention of returning.”
The defender, who has an impressive 86 international caps, has had a mixed time since he signed a four-year deal with the Gunners in the summer of 2011. Though sometimes caught for pace, his positional sense and aerial ability have made him a mainstay in Arsene Wenger’s backline, and Mertesacker revealed his irritation with the ‘constant’ stories about his future.
He said: “It is strange for me. I am playing all the time, getting positive feedback from my coach, but for some time now I am being told I should leave as quickly as possible. Maybe it is because our fans love me too much.”
Reports about a possible move to 2009 Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg surfaced earlier in the week, but the tall stopper maintains he wants to repay the club’s faith in him.
"It is a tough situation. I get calls from people who say: 'Are we moving?'. If there is speculation in England then that is picked up in Germany quickly and I think it is a shame. It's all about quick news.
“I have two more years there and I am eager to reinforce the respect I have earned at club and with the coach," he confirmed
Despite a disappointing season for the north Londoners, recent defensive performances have indicated Mertesacker and his club may have turned a corner since their derby defeat, keeping the race for a much-coveted top-four spot alive.