Reports in The Sun on Sunday claimed David Moyes was ready to make a summer offer for the out-of-favour Gunners star. Arsene Wenger was also reportedly ready to sell to the Red Devils for as much as £12m.
But although Manchester United are very keen to sign an established centre-back in the summer to replace their outgoing captain Vidic, Vermaelen is not on Moyes' shortlist. Instead Moyes will be looking to several other targets.
Mehdi Benatia of AS Roma and Alex of Paris Saint-Germain are two defenders thought to be watched by Manchester United scouts in recent weeks. Experience is of heightened importance for Moyes as he looks for someone to come straight into the team rather than a young talent that would need to be nurtured.
One other target is believed to be Sergio Ramos, according to the Daily Mail, but Manchester United know it will take a lot of money to convince Real Madrid to sell the Spanish international. They will also have to fend off Premier League rivals, who also maintain an interest in Ramos.
Manchester City, who have a growing Spanish influence at the Etihad, have been linked with a move for the 27-year-old. The Citizens are likely to have a bigger budget in the summer as well as they look certain to secure a Champions League place; something United do not.
Ramos's brother Rene told Spanish media over the weekend that English clubs were interested in signing his brother.
He told Marca: "Out of respect for the club, I will simply say it is an English club.
"There are some very interesting offers, but Ramos is at a club where he wants to be. The world's best, in his eyes. And so we must say ''thank you very much for your interest, but no''."