Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen's agent has confirmed his client has asked Arsene Wenger for a transfer, confirming newspaper reports from last weekend which claimed that the Belgian international wants a fresh challenge next season.
Vermaelen may be Arsenal skipper but that has not been enough to earn him regular first-team football this season, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger sticking to a trusted central defensive pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny throughout the current campaign.
The 28-year-old has started just three Premier League games this season and has grown frustrated with a peripheral role at the Emirates, telling Wenger that he feels it's time to move on in search of regular first-team football elsewhere.
Alex Kroes, who represents the ex-Ajax stalwart, told Le10 Sport: “Thomas has told Wenger that he wants to leave Arsenal this summer.”
Serie A looks the centre-back's most likely destination, with Napoli and Inter Milan both believed to be monitoring his situation closely.
Vermaelen's likely exit will force Wenger into the transfer market this summer, with defensive cover thin on the ground behind Mertesacker and Koscielny.
Mertersacker is currently in negotiations over a new contract, but Wenger will surely have to look at reinforcements in a crucial position before allowing Vermaelen to find a new club.