Home Football English Football Thomas Vermaelen set to join FC Barcelona

Thomas Vermaelen set to join FC Barcelona

Barcelona look set to sign Thomas Vermaelen for £15m according to the BBC. The Belgian international will be the second defender to join the Spanish giants this summer.

Arsene Wenger admitted earlier in the week that it is very probable that the 28-year-old is likely to depart the club.

“He could leave, it could happen. I’ve said that since the start of pre-season.

“He needs to play now. He has shown an outstanding attitude but he is in a position where we wouldn’t stand in his way if he finds an interesting opportunity.”

A move to Manchester United is believed to have fallen through as the Manchester club were  unwilling to agree to a player exchange deal. Arsenal are believed to want Chris Smalling as part of the deal, but United are now set to miss out on their man.

The Belgian international has fallen out of favor at Arsenal behind the first-choice pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

The move to La Liga will come as a major blow to Manchester United who are believed to have targeted the defender to fit into their 3-5-2 system, as they are in need of left footed centre half to add balance to their squad.

The former Ajax defender joined Arsenal five years ago and with Manchester United playing three at the back they would have  benefited from a left-footed defender such as the Belgian,who could play as a left sided centre back in the 3-5-2 system.

Barcelona are now set to acquire the defender and the centre of their defence has been a problem position for the last number of years.

A ball playing centre half such as Vermaelen, who was schooled at Ajax should fit in well at Barcelona who have already signed Luis Suarez, Claudio Bravo, Marc-André ter Stegen, Ivan Rakitic and Jeremy Mathieu this summer.

The Belgian international got off to a superb start with the Gunners but injuries and a loss of form have seen him feature less regularly than he would have liked in recent seasons.

The 28-year-old only made 21 appearances for the Gunners last year compared to the 45 he made in his debut season in English football scoring an impressive eight goals.

£15m is however decent money for a defender who will be 29 in November and who has not featured regularly for the Gunners in the last number of year’s.

This is expected to be Barcelona’s last purchase of the summer as they have been priced out of a move for Juan Cuadrado.

Dan Dalton, Pundit Arena.

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Dan Dalton

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