Manchester United will up Thomas Vermaelen offer to £15m

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Manchester United are willing to up their offer for Thomas Vermaelen to £15 million in order to get the deal done and beat off competition from Barcelona, according to the Daily Mail.

The Belgian is out of contract in north London next year and is reportedly angling for a transfer after spending much of last season on the bench.


He played just seven Premier League games for Arsenal last season despite being club captain, having fallen down the pecking order behind both Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. 

Barcelona have shown an interest in the 28-year-old and according to the Daily Mail have lodged a £10 million offer, however the paper claims that Manchester United will top that by £5 million in order to get their man.

Change of heart

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has reportedly come to the conclusion that he will have to pay over the odds in order to persuade Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to allow him to head to Old Trafford.

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Transfer business has been slow at Manchester United in recent weeks despite Van Gaal touching down to officially take over after the World Cup, but now the Dutchman is hoping that things will gather pace upon the team's return from their pre-season tour to America.

Barcelona interest

The former Barcelona boss would also like to wrap up the signing of Daley Blind from Ajax before their first game of the season against Swansea later this month.

So far the Red Devils have been able to secure the services of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, but Van Gaal recently conceded that defensive targets are his priority. With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic gone he needs centre-backs which is where Vermaelen comes in, while Blind can play at full-back as well as in midfield.

Arsenal plans

Arsenal meanwhile are likely to target a replacement for Vermaelen, having already secured the services of Alexis Sanchez, David Ospina, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy. 

Although the Gunners look short in attack, Wenger looks likely to focus on securing a defensive midfielder, and will try to lure Manchester United target William Carvalho to the Emirates Stadium.

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