Per Mertesacker will be allowed to run down the final-year of his contract with Arsenal as he will not be handed an extension by Arsene Wenger. The French manager is keen to assess his form and fitness over the following season before deciding to hand him a new deal.
According to The Times, the Gunners will not hand the German defender – who joined from Werder Bremen in 2011 – a new deal, despite him being on the final 12 months of his current contract and are unlikely to do so, as the manager is keen on strengthening his defensive department during the summer transfer window. The 31-year-old centre-back started the season as the preferred partner to Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the back four, but has seen his place come under threat in recent months, as Wenger has preferred to partner the Frenchman along with Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista.
The former Germany international has been left on the bench for their last two clashes against Everton and Barcelona, and it is likely that he will sit out of clashes that feature teams that have abundance of pace in their attack. Mertesacker, who has captained the side for most of the season due to the absence of Mikel Arteta, is also in danger of losing the captaincy with the manager keen to give it to a player that commands a regular place in the starting XI. It is believed that Petr Cech is likely to be the recipient of the arm band ahead of next season, as he is certain to start every game when he is fit.
The report also claimed that there will be a huge turnover of players in the summer at the Emirates Stadium with a number of stars facing possible exit from the club. Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky are out of contract, while the north London club will also listen to offers for Mathieu Debuchy and Kieran Gibbs.
Wenger is expected to spend money on transfers during the summer and bolster his squad, however, the club are expected to prioritise retaining the core of the team before making any new additions. Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all expected to be handed new deals during the off-season.