Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker could leave the club this summer with Turkish giants Galatasaray interested, reports suggest.
With just two league fixtures remaining, the best possible finish that Galatasaray can achieve is an automatic place in next season’s UEFA Europa League with third-placed Fenerbahce only two points ahead.
First-team manager Igor Tudor is planning to make significant changes to his squad over the coming months, as the Lions have struggled for consistency in their title challenge (sound like anyone familiar?) since last winning the Süper Lig during the 2014/15 campaign.
Mertesacker, whose only Premier League appearance was as a second-half substitute against Everton this past weekend, was greeted with a warm reception from supporters post-match and is in-line to start against Chelsea in this weekend’s FA Cup Final too.
However, with Calum Chambers set to return this summer, Arsenal will have six centre-backs available when all are fit. With this in mind, it’s unlikely that the experienced German has much of a chance for regular minutes next term especially given his injury issues recently.
So, would he leave and if so, how much?
Mertesacker, 32, could be open to the possibility of a move abroad if he is given guarantees over regular first-team football. Having been at Arsenal since August 2011, it’s unlikely that he’d actively seek a move unless it is clear that he will not feature heavily in Arsene Wenger’s plans for next season.
Arsenal’s previous business with Galatasaray could encourage the Turkish side. Having sold both Emmanuel Eboue (2011) Lukas Podolski (2015), they could be persuaded to do a deal if the transfer fee is right.
Mertesacker’s market value is believed to be in the region of £7m according to Transfermarkt but due to his age and injury history over the past two seasons, it’s unlikely Arsenal would get that for him, especially not from Gala.
The fact that he’s got a year left on his existing contract is also important, meaning Galatasaray could snatch him up for a cut-price fee if negotiations are successful.