FC Barcelona have submitted a £10 million bid for Arsenal FC defender Thomas Vermaelen, who has also been linked with a move to Manchester United this summer.
Arsenal are reportedly keen to sell Vermaelen to a foreign club, instead of strengthening their direct rivals Manchester United and Barcelona have now moved ahead in the race for the Belgium’s signature with a reported £10 million bid.
The 28-year-old joined the Gunners back in 2009 and quickly established himself in the first team squad. After the departure Cesc Fabregas in 2011 and Robin van Persie in 2012, the former Ajax defender was promoted as the captain of the side, as he displayed leadership skills at the back. But Vermaelen’s performances went downhill after being honoured with his responsibility. He committed some glaring mistakes and also struggled with his fitness eventually.
Following the arrival of Per Mertesacker, the Belgium international has been relegated to the bench, while the German international and Laurent Koscielny became the preferred choice for Arsene Wenger at the center of the defence. The duo has been in impressive form since then and Vermaelen is failed to break into the first team last season.
The Belgium international has already expressed his desire to leave Emirates in search of regular first team action, and both Manchester United and Barcelona are interested in signing him. Vermaelen was linked with the Spanish giants last summer as well and they have now moved ahead of Manchester United in this race for his signature with a reported £10 million bid.
The Catalan club are in need to strengthening their defence following the departure of Carles Puyol. Luis Enrique is keen to make him his second defensive signing this summer, following the arrival of Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia.
Arsene Wenger has accepted that Vermaelen could leave the club in this transfer window, but is unwilling to strengthen their direct rivals Manchester United, especially after the Robin van Persie saga. The Frenchman will prefer to sell to Barcelona and the Belgium international is expected to soon complete his move to Camp Nou. The Gunners will now be in the market for a new center back, as Wenger has hinted earlier, and they are reportedly in a battle with Manchester United for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.
Barcelona have made a 12,5M bid for Arsenal centre back Thomas Vermaelen (28), who has also been linked to Man United. [sky]
— barcastuff (@barcastuff) August 5, 2014