Per Mertesacker has confirmed that he will be an Arsenal player next season amid reports he has been in talks with Galatasaray.
The German has missed almost all of the season through injury but could make an appearance at Wembley against Chelsea if Shkodran Mustafi fails to overcome his concussion.
Speaking to the press ahead of the game, Arsenal’s club captain, said, “They (Arsenal) had to exercise (the option to extend my contract) in December when I was injured.
“That was pretty much good motivation for me to think I am going to play again, this or next season. I was not particularly thinking “Okay, I need to play this season”. It was more like giving myself more time not to rush.
“So it was then for me a better situation to relax a little bit more. The club trusted me that way. They trusted me that I could come back and make the difference at one stage of the season or next season.
“You have to consider that definitely (you are at risk of being released) when you’re injured and that was long term. The manager backed me up, made me captain, knowing I was going to be sidelined for more than six months.
“That was the first life; the second life was to exercise the option. Obviously I’m grateful so I want to make sure I try to give something back.”
As you can see from those comments, he is clearly talking about being at Arsenal next season for year option that the club exercised.
It’s unlikely, however, that he will be at the club any longer than that. He turns 33 in September.Mustafi failed to train on Friday with the rest of his teammates and a late call will be made on whether he is fit to play. With a concussion, no chances should be taken and it’s hard to see how he can be unfit for training on a Friday but fit to play a cup final against Chelsea the next day