Arsenal are preparing for the shock departure of Per Mertesacker, after speculation that Arsene Wenger was ready to part ways with his first choice centre-back, according to reports from the Daily Star.
The 30-year-old was under heavy criticism in his side’s 3-1 Champions League first leg home defeat at the hands of Monaco.
Mertesacker faces some time on the sidelines, with Arsene Wenger considering to deploy new January signing Gabriel Paulista in his place on a permanent basis.
Paulista gave a very solid performance in the Gunners’ recent 2-0 victory over Everton and may have done enough to persuade Wenger to consider the sale of the World Cup winner.
Unless he wants to remain on the bench, ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes the Germany international could leave in the upcoming window.
“I think Mertesacker is under pressure,” he said.
“It looks like Wenger has the necessary players to replace him.”
Although the centre-back started 25 out of a possible 27 matches, it may be time for Paulista to take over and partner Laurent Koscielny in the heart of Wenger’s defence.