Hannover not ruling out Mertesacker return

The Arsenal defender grew up with the German outfit before joining Werder Bremen, and Martin Bader concedes re-signing the veteran will be a tough task

Hannover director Martin Bader has revealed the 2. Bundesliga side are keen to re-sign Per Mertesacker, but realises they face an uphill task to lure the centre-back away from Arsenal at this stage.

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The 32-year-old came through the ranks of the Hannover youth academy, before leaving for Werder Bremen after three years in the first team.

He then earned himself a move to Arsenal in August 2011, but his boyhood club are hopeful of luring him back to the HDI-Arena sooner rather than later.

"Everybody knows what Hannover mean to Per. Maybe we can make him enthusiastic about a return," Bader told Bild.

"But re-signing Mertesacker is not our main priority at the moment. We are playing in the 2. Bundesliga right now and he is Arsenal's captain. A lot of things will have to happen in order to make a return a realistic option. First of all, Hannover will have to return to the Bundesliga.

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"A transfer is still far away now and it seems like a crazy thing to even discuss it. But anything can happen in football."

Mertesacker has yet to make an appearance for Arsenal this campaign due to a knee injury and has a contract with the Premier League side until June 2017.