Thomas Vermaelen is set to snub contract talks with Arsenal in order to force his way out of the club, and the Gunners have now slapped a £10 million price tag on the Belgian international according to the Sun. Manchester United are leading the race for his signature, while Barcelona are also in the hunt.
The 28-year-old is out of contract next year and was due to hold talks with the Gunners amidst rumours that Manchester United wanted to lure him to Old Trafford.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is said to be keen on retaining the centre-back for another 12 months and keeping him from the clutches of Manchester United even though he only started seven league games for the Gunners last time round.
Indeed, Wenger admitted last week that it was 'possible' that Vermaelen could leave, although now until Arsenal had secured a replacement. Now the Sun say that Vermaelen has refused to entertain the thought of staying in north London by turning down the opportunity to hold talks over his future - which has prompted Arsenal to put a £10 million price tag on his head.
He could wait until January to discuss a free transfer with Barcelona or any other foreign club, but the Sun say he isn't willing to wait until then to sort out his future - which suggests a move to Manchester United could be on the cards.
The Red Devils look short of options at the back following the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, and new boss Louis van Gaal recently admitted that adding bodies at the back is his priority.
Manchester United defender targets
While they have been linked with the likes of Mats Hummels and Stefan de Vrij, the latter has joined Lazio and the former is unlikely to leave Borussia Dortmund - leaving Vermaelen as the most likely target.
Van Gaal worked with the Belgian at Ajax and would like to take him to Manchester United so he can provide competition for Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, while he can also provide cover at left-back.
Manchester United have already had one bid in the region of £7 million turned down for the defender, while they have also ruled out the suggestion of including Smalling or Jones in a straight swap deal.
The Red Devils have so far signed Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera for a combined fee of around £60 million, and are expected to be busy ahead for the rest of the summer window.
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