Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, with Arsene Wenger admitting that he could not guarantee the player’s future at the club.
Speaking after a friendly against Boreham Wood, the Frenchman was unsurprisingly quizzed on the future of the Belgian international. He’s been heavily linked with a move away from the Gunners.
And, whilst Wenger attempted to give as little away as possible, he was forced into confirming that a move away is possible. The Daily Star goes on to report that he’s now close to a move to the Red Devils.
"I cannot guarantee he will stay, but should he go I would bring another centre-back in for sure,” he told reporters post-match.
Arsenal transfer plans
Whilst Arsenal fans would not want to see one of their players join a rival, Wenger was clear that he will search for a replacement immediately if a deal goes through.
Vermaelen is no longer a first choice centre back at the Emirates Stadium, losing his place in the Gunners’ starting line-up to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertescaker.
And, if he were sold, then that could give the Arsenal boss more funds to bring in another player in the position. Wenger has already made his mark in the transfer window this summer, with Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy moving to north London.
Van Gaal's impact
Manchester United have done similar, signing Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw before new boss Louis van Gaal had even arrived at Old Trafford to take charge of matters personally.
The Dutchman has subsequently been linked with a move for Vermaelen, with £12million the mooted price to add the player to the Red Devils squad.
His versatility has previously been highlighted as a key factor in Van Gaal’s interest, providing cover at left-back as well as the heart of the defence, and Manchester United fans will be hoping that a deal can be pushed through sooner rather than later.