Arsenal transfer news: Per Mertesacker has 'talked about' returning to Werder Bremen, claims Clemens Fritz

The 32-year-old is out of contract in the summer and has not featured this season

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The Independent Football

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has been in talks about a return to former club Werder Bremen, according to claims made by the German outfit's captain, Clemens Fritz.

The 32-year-old is out of contract in the summer and has not featured for the Gunners this season because of a problematic knee injury but, despite being club captain after Mikel Arteta’s departure, it remains to be seen if he will be offered fresh terms.

Mertesacker made 146 appearances for Bremen between 2006-2011 before joining Arsenal and going on to lift two FA Cup trophies but the Premier League title continues to evade him in north London. 

Fritz, speaking to Germany daily Bild, revealed: “We've talked about it [a return to Bremen]. It would be a good thing for the club.”

The World Cup winner will be eligible to start preliminary discussions with clubs in Europe in January. The £35m arrival of Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia has further raised doubts whether Mertesacker will ever be able to stake a claim for regular first-team football again.

He told Kicker magazine recently: “I believe that I can reach a level again on which I am important for the team. I have the feeling that this is not the end. 

“The more time I allow my knee, the longer I'll be able to play football. I can increase the workload already and I am no longer in pain.”