Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the club are likely to use their option to extend Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker’s expiring contracts.
Cazorla, 32, has been heavily linked with a return to LaLiga, with Atletico Madrid reportedly keen to sign him, while Mertesacker has caught the attention of former clubs Werder Bremen and Hannover.
Nevertheless, Wenger is keen to keep the experienced duo at the Emirates for at least one additional season.
“Cazorla and Mertesacker’s contract renewal does not depend on their fitness,” Wenger told the club’s official website.
“We have an option on both of them and I think we will take it.
“We want to keep them for their qualities as football players firstly but as well for their mental guidance. We need to have a balance between youth and experience. They are important in that.”
Both Cazorla and Mertesacker remain unavailable due to injury, although recent reports suggested the former Germany international is close to a return.
However, Wenger has made it clear the 32-year-old defender still needs some more time.
“Mertesacker is not close to a return,” Wenger added.
“He had a little calf problem.
“He is on the pitch but not close. He is still three or four weeks away, not more.”
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