Per Mertesacker has discussed the possibility of rejoining Werder Bremen, according to the German club's captain.
Mertesacker remains Arsenal's skipper but is out of contract next summer and yet to play this season because of a serious knee injury.
Officials from Bremen and Hannover, another of Mertesacker's former club, have publicly declared an interest in bringing the centre-half back home next season.
And current Bremen skipper Clemens Fritz told Bild: "We've talked about it [a return to Bremen]. It would be a good thing for the club."
Mertesacker this month said he would consider his future from January, when he will be free to discuss pre-contract terms with club on the continent.
The World Cup winner has seen Arsenal sign £35m compatriot Shkodran Mustafi since his pre-season injury, but he told Kicker magazine: "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.
"The more time I allow my knee, the longer I'll be able to play football. I can increase the workload already and I am no longer in pain."