Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confessed in a recent news conference that Thomas Vermaelen could leave the club over the summer, with reports saying that Manchester United are linked with the defender.
The 28-year-old only played eight times for the Gunners last season, which was due to injuries that hindered the Belgian and also the defensive partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. The duo became one of the hardest defences to crack in the Premier League, leaving Vermaelen on the sideline.
During a recent press conference Wenger was asked whether he expects Vermaelen to remain at the club next season, replying with: "At the moment, he is here.
"It could happen. Yes, it's a possibility that he goes and if he goes we have to replace him because he is an important player in our squad.
"I expect him to stay but of course he did not play enough games last year. For me he is a very important player but I couldn’t give him the games that he wanted last year so I will see."
Repercussions of an exit
If Vermaelen does leave the club it will leave Arsenal with only two centre backs (Koscielny and Mertesacker) to rely on.
Arsenal have brought in Calum Chambers from Southampton for an undisclosed fee, with the 19-year-old's strongest position being right-back but him also being adept at centre half. This could mean that Wenger could see Chambers' future as a centre back rather than a right-back.
Wenger was also asked during the press conference about the speculation linking him with a move for Porto's attacking midfielder Juan Quintero, but the Arsenal manager denied the club would be signing the Colombia international.