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Premier League

Per Mertesacker: 'Maybe German fans love me too much'

The German defender rubbishes rumours he will leave the Emirates this summer

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.