Arsenal are ready to swoop for Werder Bremen defender Per Mertesacker.

Boss Arsene Wenger has long been on the Werder Bremen star's trail, and sees him as the top-class defender the Gunners currently lack, says the People.

Mertesacker has just returned from a heel injury. But he has also stated his desire for a Premier League move after five seasons at Bremen.

The Bundesliga club is ready to cash in on the 6ft 6ins powerhouse now rather than lose him for nothing when his contract expires next summer - and Wenger hopes to snap up the 26-year-old for a cut-price £5m.

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