Thursday 19 January 2017 11:22, UK
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed central defender Per Mertesacker will be staying at the club.
The 32-year-old, who won the World Cup with Germany in 2014, has been linked with a move away from Arsenal this month.
Mertesacker has been a regular in Wenger's side since moving to Arsenal from Hannover in August 2011, but he has not played any competitive matches this season after suffering a knee injury in a pre-season game against Lens.
However, Wenger reckons the player's experience could be vital in the second half of the campaign and has decided to trigger the option in his contract to keep Mertesacker in north London for another year.
Wenger said: "He has an option that we have taken. There was no negotiation, just an option that we have taken.
"He's back in training, not with the squad, but he's two weeks away now.
"With the number of games we have it's important that we have all our experienced players back and that everybody is focused to do well.
"We're going through a moment of truth now, January until May is five months to go. You want ideally all your players with big experience back in your squad."