Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that he would ideally want to sell Thomas Vermaelen to a foreign club.

Thomas Vermaelen’s future at the club has come under increased speculation this summer with both Barcelona and Manchester United being linked with a move for the Arsenal defender. Manager Arsene Wenger has now revealed his desire to sell Vermaelen to a foreign club, instead of strengthening direct rivals.

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. Recent reports suggested that Barcelona have moved ahead in the race for his signature with a £10 million bid. But Louis van Gaal is still keen on the defender and will look to better Barca’s offer.

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.

“Yes [We have received bids for Vermaelen]… I can’t tell you [who they are from], but you will know very soon.

“I’ve said since the start of pre-season that Thomas could leave us because he needs to play now. He had an outstanding attitude and behaviour but he’s in a position where it’s difficult to stand in his way if he finds an interesting opportunity.

“Ideally yes [I would rather sell Vermaelen abroad]. It is an option. I don’t want to tell you [which clubs are interested] but we have offers from abroad as well.” – The Arsenal manager said.

Wenger also insisted that they are still open to more business this summer, although he refused to provide any specific names.

“It could happen, yes. I cannot give you any names specifically who will join us at the moment. We are not close to signing anybody and it will be the wrong information.

“We have still three-and-a-half weeks before the transfer market is closed and we are open to it. But it has to be a player who can strengthen our squad because let’s not forget that Joel Campbell has come back plus the addition of Debuchy, Chambers and [Alexis] Sanchez who have joined us.

“We have already bought four players, we have not lost players until now so we have a big squad at the moment. At the moment I can’t give you any news but we have not closed the door.” – Wenger added.

The Frenchman also stated that they were never close to signing Sami Khedira from Real Madrid as Jack Wilshere has regained his fitness and is capable of handling the role of box-to-box midfielder.

“We were never close to signing him because Jack Wilshere has come back fit and in midfield we have quite a few offensive box-to-box players.” – He said in an interview.