Per Mertesacker not for sale

Arsene Wenger’s reported hopes of bringing defender Per Mertesacker to Arsenal have been quashed after Werder Bremen insisted the German is not for sale.

The Gunners' boss could find himself short in defence this summer, with William Gallas expected to leave and both Mikael Silvestre and Sol Campbell yet to decide where their futures lie.

The German stopper recently described a move to Emirates Stadium as “attractive” amid reported interest from the Gunners, with Wenger reportedly keen to partner the 25-year-old with last summer's addition Thomas Vermaelen.

But Werder Bremen coach Klaus Allofs sees Mertesacker as indispensable and has ruled out a transfer to England.

“A move is ruled out,” he told Bild. “Per is not negotiable.”

Mertesacker has 60 international caps for Germany, who are currently preparing for their World Cup campaign in South Africa next month.

Wenger is keen to strengthen his squad - particularly in defence - in order to challenge Chelsea and Manchester United for the Premier League title next season.

By Owen Edwards

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