Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has squashed rumours linking him with a move away from the Emirates in the summer. Bundesliga side Wolfsburg had recently confirmed their interest in the player with Klaus Allofs, Wolfsburg's sporting director, hinting that the club will be looking to make a move for the player if made available for transfer in the summer.
"Everyone knows what I think of Per. He was the leader at Bremen and I also believe he is the leader in the Germany team. If he is for sale, he will always be of interest," Allofs said.
However, the 28-year-old has revealed that he has no intentions of leaving England in the near future and will continue at Arsenal for a long time to come. The 6' 6'' defender has made 35 appearances for Arsenal this season and has also scored three goals. His two goals in the Premier League came in both legs against Tottenham Hotspur this season, making him a crowd favourite.
"Of course I noticed that [the comments made by Allofs]. But I took it with a smile. Everybody including my family keeps calling, and they ask: What's going on? Of course I've always had a good relationship with Klaus Allofs. No, I don't consider a return to Germany. I still intend to stay here in England at Arsenal for a while," the German international said.
Arsene Wenger has already put his foot down on his defence, with Wojciech Szczesny and Thomas Vermaelen benched against Bayern Munich and Swansea City after a series of mediocre performances. Lukasz Fabianski and Laurent Koscielny have come in as replacement, with Vermaelen expected to make his way out of the club in the summer. Wenger is also looking to bring in an experienced goalkeeper to provide competition to Szczesny, something which may also lead to the Pole's departure.
The Gunners are currently in fifth spot in the league table and are four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, with a game in hand. The Premier League is adjourned for two weeks owing to the international break, and with only nine games left to secure a top four finish, Wenger will be hoping that his players will be able to refocus after helping their national side qualify for the World Cup in 2014.