Roma are reportedly close to agreeing a deal for Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen, who has been recently linked with a return to Arsenal.
AS Roma are close to completing a deal for Barcelona’s injury-plagued centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, according to reputed Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio. The report states that the Serie A club is very close to a breakthrough in their negotiations with both Barcelona and Vermaelen. Roma recently announced the signing of Federico Fazio from Tottenham as cover for the injured Mario Rui but are still in the market for another defender and have earmarked the Belgian, who has struggled in Barcelona after signing from Arsenal.
The report states that Roma are currently offering €2m loan-fee upfront with an obligatory clause to make the move permanent at €8m, while Barcelona are holding out for a fee of €12m on the clause. Di Marzio has reported that both sides might find an amicable settlement around the €10m mark.
Roma is also close to agreeing personal terms with Vermaelen, a four-year contract worth €3m per-year, with the club ready to convert the contract into a three-year deal with a player option to extend it to a fourth year.
The Belgian’s future at Camp Nou has been the subject of speculatio,n with reports linking the defender to a host of Premier League clubs, including a sensational return to Arsenal, who are on the lookout for a centre-back to replace the injured Per Mertesacker. Liverpool were also reported to be interested in securing the centre-back’s services to solve their defensive crisis but AS Roma seem to have stolen a march on the Premier League duo.
Vermaelen has reportedly given his approval to the move in order to link up with Roma manager Luciano Spalletti, who is eager to add the 30-year-old to his squad. With only marginal differences between the two clubs’ valuation of the deal, it looks likely that Thomas Vermaelen would be strutting his stuff in Italy in the coming season.