Mertesacker set to stay at Bremen

Werder Bremen have told Arsenal to forget about taking Germany defender Per Mertesacker to Emirates Stadium, according to Werder's general manager Klaus Allofs.

Mertesacker has been a target for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for the majority of the summer as the Frenchman looks to rebuild his defence following the departures of Sol Campbell, William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre and Phillipe Senderos.

GEAR: Get a Germany shirt

Newspaper reports had linked Wenger with a £10 million swoop for the 25-year-old, but Allofs has refuted those claims, insisting Mertesacker will see out the remaining two years left on his contract instead of joining the Gunners.

“Per is 100 percent for Werder,” Allofs told Bild.

“I have already said several times. Nothing has changed. Per and his advisers have so far not reported [for training after the World Cup] due to a request from us.”

Mertesacker had an impressive World Cup for Joachim Low's Germany before their semi-final defeat to Spain and Wenger could now reignite his interest in Everton's Phil Jagielka or Gary Cahill of Bolton.

Wenger is believed to have had an initial £14 million bid for England defender Jagielka rejected by Everton last week and may be tempted to raise that to £18 million following Werder's determination to hold on to Mertesacker.

But with Everton boss David Moyes insisting that Jagielka must not be sold before the start of the season, Wenger could now turn his attentions back to Bolton's Cahill.

Arsenal have already brought in Laurent Koscielny from Lorient this summer and have been linked with moves for Montpelier's Bosnian defender Emir Spahic and Ajax centre-back Jan Vertonghen in recent weeks.

By James Martini

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