Mertesacker provides Arsenal fitness boost

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Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker has indicated he is ready to be part of Arsene Wenger's squad for the first time this season.

The defender suffered a serious knee injury in pre-season and has not been fit to play in any part for the Gunners so far in 2016-17.

However, Mertesacker provided a positive update on his fitness ahead of Saturday's Premier League match at home to Manchester United after a spell of rehabilitation in Germany.

He wrote on Twitter: "Rehab couldn't have gone better but now all packed and ready to come back home to the team!"

The message was accompanied by the hashtag 'returnoftheBFG' and an image of the 32-year-old posing with his packed suitcase.

Mertesacker faces an uncertain future at Arsenal, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season and compatriot Shkodran Mustafi signed in August to bolster the club's defence.

He insisted this month that a new Arsenal contract was his "absolute priority", but has been linked with a move to former clubs Hannover and Werder Bremen.