Date: 1st November 2016 at 1:21pm
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Per Mertesacker has played down rumours he’s ready to return to Germany with former clubs Werder Bremen and Hannover said to have expressed an interest when his Arsenal contract expires in the summer.

This isn’t what he wants though.

He’s told Spox when his contract expires in June he’s got no intention of going back to his homeland and this being the end of his time with Arsenal as a new deal is his ‘absolute priority.’

‘A renewal with Arsenal is my absolute priority. But we have not made an appointment yet to discuss a new deal. Arsenal are my top priority and everything else is just speculation.’

Mertesacker, signed by Arsene Wenger in 2011, feels the boss should be ‘immune’ from criticism for what he’s done at Arsenal in the 20-years he’s been at the club too and has questioned the respect, or back of, he’s sometimes given.

‘Wenger should be immune to any public criticism. He has been at Arsenal for 20 years, helping the club develop step by step. Where else do you still see this? You should look at the bigger picture and he deserves nothing but respect.’

Also quick top put the boot are the media with the 32-year-old finding it odd that he can be given such praise after a convincing Champions League win only to be questioned after a draw with Middlesbrough, finishing by saying.

‘The media are too quick to criticise in my opinion. It is all about results. One day they are celebrating a big win over Ludogorets and then three days later there is criticism after a draw with Middlesbrough. How much will the team, the coach and the club have changed during these three days to merit such a different opinion?’

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