Arsenal have opened talks with Per Mertesacker over a contract extension, reports the Daily Express.
Mertesacker missed the game at Old Trafford on Sunday after contracting a virus the night before the match and was sorely missed as a lack of height in the penalty area allowed Robin van Persie to score from a corner.
The centre-back has been in imperious form for the Gunners so far this season having forged a successful partnership with Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the defence.
That partnership has been good enough to keep club captain Thomas Vermaelen out of the starting line up and has now convinced Arsene Wenger to extend the German international's contract.
His current £65,000-a-week deal still has 18 months to run, but Wenger is prepared to offer the 29-year-old a four year extension to keep him at the club well in to his thirties.
The situation seems to be different for Mertesacker's team mate Bacary Sagna, who is still yet to be offered a new deal despite his deal running out in seven months time.
Reports last month suggested that Sagna had been left feeling aggrieved by the fact that Arsenal were only prepared to offer him a one-year extension to his current contract.
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