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Thomas Vermaelen to decide future this week

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Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen will inform the Gunners, Manchester United and Barcelona over his decision regarding his future by the end of the week.

That's according to Goal.com, who report that Vermaelen now has two firm offers on the table - one from Barcelona, and another from Manchester United. Louis Van Gaal wants to bring the Belgian international in to strengthen a defence that has seen the likes of Nenmanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand depart.

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Vermaelen to leave?

Arsene Wenger admitted earlier this month that Vermaelen could leave the Emirates Stadium, as it is believed that he's become disillusioned after failing to win back his first-team place.

Wenger views Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny as his first-choice duo, with new £16m signing Calum Chambers being groomed as a long-term replacement.

United's initial £6m offer for Vermaelen was swiftly rebuffed by the Gunners, who are thought to be holding out for something closer to £10m. Vermaelen himself is doing his best to force Arsenal's hand, rejecting their contract offer and informing them he will not sign any new deal on the table.

Confidence

Both United and Barcelona are confident they can put forward winning cases to sign the 28-year-old, although Arsenal would prefer him to move to Barcelona rather than a direct rival.

Having sold Robin Van Persie to United just two summers ago, Wenger wants to avoid strengthening a Premier League club if the alternative sees Vermaelen playing in La Liga.

But looking at the squad situation at both Barca and United, Vermaelen may ultimately conclude that Old Trafford offers him the best chance of first-team football - which is the most important factor.

Options for both clubs

With Vidic and Ferdinand gone, Van Gaal is assessing his options at the back. That currently means Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Evans is believed to be the frontrunner, and has even been mentioned as a possible captain.

Barcelona meanwhile recently signed Jeremy Mathieu for £15.8m from Valencia. And while Carles Puyol did retire, they still have Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano.

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Topics:
Thomas Vermaelen
Premier League
Arsenal
Manchester United
Football

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