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Arsenal open Mertesacker talks over bumper new deal

Per Mertesacker is set to be handed a bumper new deal at Arsenal.

The Daily Mal says the club have opened talks with the Germany international over fresh terms, and discussions are understood to be progressing well.

Mertesacker has established himself as an integral member of the Gunners' back-four - forming a formidable central-defensive partnership alongside Laurent Koscielny.

The 29-year-old has 18 months left on his current £65,000-per-week deal and manager Arsene Wenger wants his future secured as soon as possible.

And if all things go according to plan, Mertesacker will sign a new four-year deal, which will include a substantial pay-increase, before the end of 2013.

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