Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker is a target for former club Werder Bremen, who have confirmed they have held talks over re-signing the Germany international. The 32-year-old is out of contract in north London at the end of the season and having not yet been offered a fresh deal there is uncertainty over his long-term future.

Mertesacker has not played this season due to a knee injury suffered in pre-season. The World Cup winner is not expected to return before 2017 and in his absence Laurent Koscielny and summer signing Shkoodran Mustafa have quickly struck up an understand at the heart of the Gunners defence.

Hannover have already expressed an interest in bringing Mertesacker back to Germany, after the Arsenal skipper revealed he would consider his future at The Emirates Stadium in the January transfer window. Another of his former clubs Bremen are also keen on re-signing the 6ft 6ins centre-back and held talks during the summer over a potential deal, as they concluded the acquisition of Serge Gnabry.

"I would imagine by Werder good," Werder Sporting director Frank Baumann told Bild. "In the course of Serge transfer, we also talked about his [Mertesacker's] future."

Bundesliga second division side Hannover became the first team to confirm their interest in Mertesacker, though the club are realistic over the package they have to offer their former youth product. Die Roten were relegated from the top flight last term and though they occupy an automatic promotion place in the early weeks of the campaign they know they face an uphill battle to tempt the Arsenal man back to the HDI-Arena.

"Everybody knows what Hannover means to Per. Maybe we can make him enthusiastic about a return," director Martin Bader told Bild. "The issue of Per Mertesacker is our currently not high on the agenda. It's obvious, because we are second division and he is captain of Arsenal.

"A lot has to come together so that a return is possible. The first requirement is that we ascend. First of all, Hannover will have to return to the Bundesliga. Right now that's far away and sounds crazy. But in football many things are possible."