Wednesday 22 November 2017

Per Mertesacker in talks to stay at Arsenal in non-playing role

Per Mertesacker and Arsene Wenger of Arsenal line up ahead of the Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Per Mertesacker and Arsene Wenger of Arsenal line up ahead of the Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Jack O'Toole

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has revealed that he is currently in negotiations with the club about staying at the Emirates next season in a 'non-playing' capacity.

Mertesacker, 32, signed a one-year contract extension in January to keep him at the club until the end of next season, however, after missing over half of the season with a hamstring injury, the German World Cup winner now looks set to move into an administration role with the club after captaining Arsenal to an FA Cup final win over Chelsea last weekend.

Mertesacker said that the weekly repetition of games has impacted on his decision to transition into a post-playing career and that he had told Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that he was 'mentally wasted' at the end of last season.

"I was extremely lucky with my career and I want to finish on a high," Mertesacker told Sport1.

"I am motivated, but I cannot play every three days any more. I don't want to stretch my luck.

"I recently told him [Wenger] that I am tired, mentally wasted. The first time in my career I thought it makes no sense anymore, that I'll retire. No matter how hard I practiced I didn't get a chance.

"At Arsenal you are replaceable so quickly as a player, I don't want to stand in someone's way. Winning the FA Cup was an extreme close which I could not expect.

"Arsenal want to keep hold of me and there are already talks. It will be in the business operations. I will stand on the other side."

Mertesacker made 150 appearances in six years with the Gunners after signing from Werder Bremen for an undisclosed fee. He won three FA Cups and one Community Shield in his time with Arsenal.

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