German side Hannover 96 say they’d love a reunion with old boy Per Mertesacker but admit the chances of the Arsenal captain swapping the Emirates for his hometown club are very unlikely at the moment.
The BFG started out at the club 21 years ago playing under his father Stefan, one of Hannover’s youth coaches, and went on to make 82 appearances in the first team over the course of three years after making his debut as a 19-year-old.
Currently sidelined by a knee injury, Mertesacker admitted this week that he’ll turn his attention to his future in January by which point he’ll only have six months left on his current deal at Arsenal.
Asked about the possibility of signing Mertesacker, Hannover 96 director, Martin Bader, admitted his main focus is returning the club to the Bundesliga.
“Everybody knows what Hannover mean to Per. Maybe we can make him enthusiastic about a return.
“But re-signing Mertesacker is not our main priority at the moment. We are playing in the 2. Bundesliga right now and he is Arsenal’s captain. A lot of things will have to happen in order to make a return a realistic option.
“First of all, Hannover will have to return to the Bundesliga. A transfer is still far away now and it seems like a crazy thing to even discuss it. But anything can happen in football.”
Arseblog News wouldn’t be surprised if Per is offered a new short-term deal in the coming months. His experience and leadership qualities are obviously admired within the camp, as evidenced by the fact he was handed the captain’s armband by the boss despite suffering a serious knee injury on the eve of the new season.
What’s more, he’s loved by long-term friend, Mesut Ozil, who told Arsenal Player last week, “I’ve known Per for a while, because we’ve played together in Bremen, for the national team and here too. I can only say positives about him. He gives everything for the team, not just for himself, but for everyone.
“Off the pitch, he watches the games and comes into the dressing room. He’s just a role model and we’re pleased to have him here. I want him to get fit again and back on the pitch as quickly as possible.
“I sincerely hope that he comes back really quickly.”