Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is set to join Barcelona this summer, reports The Metro.
Citing reports from The Mirror, it has been suggested that the Gunners have refused to sell their club captain to Manchester United, meaning the Catalan giants are now expected to bring him to La Liga for a fee in the region of £10 million.
It looks likely then that Vermaelen, who is out of contract at the Emirates at the end of the season, will join the Spanish giants, as the player looks to get his career back on track. While Barcelona have struggled defensively in recent time, Vermaelen's Arsenal career has been at a stand still.
The Gunners skipper hasn't been able to dislodge the likes of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny for a first-team spot, so it's no surprise that he's set to move on in the near future.
It had previously appeared that Manchester United were in the driving seat to land the Belgian ace in this window, with new boss Louis van Gaal seemingly determined to improve his back-line at the club.
Arsenal's stance, then, could leave United on the lookout for another defender after a number of experienced stars left the club at the end of the season. Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra all departed the Theatre of Dreams, whilst Alex Buttner also moved on.
Van Gaal then only has the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans competing for places in the defence, while youngsters such as Michael Keane will be hoping to make an impression under the new regime.
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