One of the members of the Arsenal first team has admitted that leaving the club in the near future is now an option.

Former German international Per Mertesacker has entered his sixth season at the Emirates stadium after leaving Werder Bremen in the summer of 2011.

For much of his Arsenal career, Mertesacker has managed to retain his place in Arsene Wenger’s starting line-up.

However, the future of the 32-year-old has been put into doubt after seeing new signing Shkodran Mustafi strengthen his partnership with Laurent Koscielny.

Thus, Mertesacker, whose contract at Arsenal expires next summer, insists he will consider the possibility of leaving the club while he nurses a knee injury he suffered in pre-season.

“I know that I need to allow myself time. The more time I allow my knee, the longer I’ll be able to play football,” Mertesacker told Kicker.

“I can increase the workload already and I am no longer in pain.

“I believe that I can reach a level again on which I am important for the team. I have the feeling that this is not the end.

“I look at the perspectives for me and my family, and I think that I’ll intensify those thoughts from January on.

“That’s also the time when you can listen to other things [offers] when your contract is expiring.”

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