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Manchester United confirmed as bidders for Thomas Vermaelen

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Manchester United could well sign Thomas Vermaelen this summer, with The Daily Mail reporting that Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the club are part of a group of bidders for the central defender.

Vermaelen has seen his future at Arsenal subject to intense and relentless media scrutiny in recent months, with his contract due to expire in 2015 and speculation suggesting that the Belgian international has no intention of entering negotiations to extend.

Manchester United interest

Rivals Manchester United and Barcelona have both been credited with a strong interest in his services, with the former heavily rumoured to be willing to spend £15 million to take Vermaelen to Old Trafford.

While some may have initially dismissed that as just another needless and unoriginal piece of transfer tittle-tattle, Wenger seemed to confirm Manchester United's status as bidders on Thursday and once again admitted that Vermaelen - who struggled to start last season with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker preferred as Wenger's first-choice defensive partnership - might leave the Emirates Stadium this summer.

"'Manchester United are part of the group (of bidders). Vermaelen could leave us because he needs to play now. We're in a position where it's difficult to stand in his way," the Frenchman was quoted in the same report from The Mail.

"We would prefer to sell him aboard. That is an option. We have offers from abroad as well. We have bids. You will know very soon."

Watch: The latest Manchester United transfer news

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Given Vermaelen's lofty status at Arsenal, fans would surely not begrudge him the opportunity to seek more regular first-team opportunities elsewhere.

However, it is unlikely that anyone associated with the Gunners would be particularly pleased to see the 29-year-old join one of the club's traditional title rivals, with former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie having been fiercely criticised since his own defection to Manchester United back in 2012.

Barcelona appear to be Manchester United's main rivals in the hunt for Vermaelen, although reports suggest that their own bid is £5 million short of that prepared by the Red Devils.

The Catalan giants have not had too much experience of purchasing centre-backs in recent years, with last month's capture of Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia representing their first addition in this particular area since the unsuccessful signing of Ukrainian Dmytro Chygrynskiy five years ago. 

Arsenal fans, would you be happy to see Vermaelen join Manchester United? Does he have what it takes to replace the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box provided below. 

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Topics:
Thomas Vermaelen
Barcelona
Premier League
Arsenal
Manchester United
Football

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