Per Mertesacker has laughed off suggestions he could be set for an exit from Arsenal in the summer after insisting he's happy at the club and wants to stay for the long-term.

Mertesacker took some time to settle into the Premier League after a move from Werder Bremen in 2011, and the Germany international attracted criticism, in particular over his lack of speed during his first season in England.

But the 28 year old believes he's found his stride in this campaign, and will be ignoring any word in the papers that he might be set for an exit.

Per Mertesacker
Per Mertesacker says he's happy at Arsenal, despite what the papers might claim.

"I do not think they want to get rid of me after this season here," Mertesacker told German site

"I have become an integral part of the team and have really earned respect here.

"Sometimes you have to be self-confident enough and just let the press write what they want, but it is always getting quieter in this regard, and that is a good sign."

While Arsenal didn't have the best start to the season, they are finishing in typically strong fashion and the chance of a top four finish is once again in their own hands.

However, should Arsenal not gain all three points against Newcastle then Tottenham have the chance to overhaul them if they can defeat Sunderland. And Mertesacker is aware of the huge challenge ahead.

"We must really put a shift in against Newcastle and really give everything again in our last game," he explained.

"It was a long, gruelling season, but we will do everything possible to win there."

Arsenal have the advantage of playing a Newcastle side this weekend who don't have to worry about relegation after securing their Premier League survival last weekend.

Should they win, regardless of Tottenham's result they will be celebrating. But a draw could give their cross-town rivals the chance to finish above them in the table for the first time since 1995, and for the first time in Wenger's era at the club.