Arsenal want to sign German Per Mertesacker, as the club look to solve their defensive problems, according to Metro.

The Werder Bremen man has just one year left on his contract and his future at the Bundesliga side is yet to be resolved.

General manager Klaus Allofs says the club will be forced to sell this summer if Mertesacker's contract can't be renewed, leaving Arsenal free to launch a £6 million bid.

"If you are not going to hand out an extension to an outrunning contract then you need to know all the possibilities available to you," he said.

 

"As soon as we are aware of our fate in the Bundesliga this spring, we are going to clarify [the situation] with these contracts.

"We will be in talks."

With Thomas Vermaelen having missed most of the season and Sebastien Squillaci and Laurent Koscielny both out of form, Arsenal have struggled to keep pace with Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League title race.

Their problems at the back came to a head in the Carling Cup final, when a mix up between Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny led to Obafemi Martins scoring Birmingham City's winner and frustrated Arsenal is their search for a trophy, yet again.

The Gunners have been linked with the likes of Gary Cahill, Sylvain Distin and Philippe Mexes already this year.

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