Arsenal defensive star not expected to be handed new contract

Arsenal are ready to part ways with Per Mertesacker once his contract expires as the club prepares to reinforce the squad in the summer, according to The Times.

The 31-year-old is about to enter the final 12 months of his deal and could be allowed to leave on a free transfer at the end of the upcoming campaign.

He has been struggling to find form in recent weeks, with manager Arsene Wenger already dropping him in favour of Gabriel Paulista in the last two matches.

The club are also in the market for more defensive reinforcements, with Mertesacker’s role under huge jeopardy if they sign another centre-back in the summer.

Wenger has also been criticised for his performance in recent weeks as they trail behind leaders Leicester City by 11 points despite the fact that they are third on the table.

The Germany international is still seen as a key member of the squad having already started 21 out of a possible 30 league matches so far this term.