Barcelona medical staff tried to convince the club to cancel the deal for Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen over his serious injury problems, reports talkSPORT.
Citing reports from Spain, talkSPORT claim that the medical team were convinced they were walking into trouble when they agreed a £10 million deal with the Gunners in the summer. Vermaelen eventually sealed his move to the Nou Camp, but has yet to make an appearance for the senior side.
Vermaelen started off his Arsenal career brilliantly and appeared to be capable of becoming a mainstay in the side for the foreseeable future. However, injury problems started after he went down with an Achilles injury that kept him out for almost an entire season.
"He needs to get over the injury he picked up last season, obviously it is quite difficult to introduce him into a team that is already in the rhythm of playing games." - Luis Enrique
Since then the Belgian struggled to find his best form and, when he looked like getting back to his best, another injury came back to halt his progress. Eventually Arsene Wenger opted to leave him on the bench in favour of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
Vermaelen controversially retained the captain's armband last season, but with one-year left on his contract, it always looked like he was going to leave.
A move to Barcelona fitted all parties. Vermaelen would get a fresh start and Arsenal would avoid selling a captain to Manchester United for the second time in three summers. However, the deal may never have happened had Barcelona's medical team been listened to.
So uncertain were they of Vermaelen's fitness that they wanted Luis Enrique to pull the plug on the deal. Since his arrival, the 28-year-old has suffered a number of minor injuries that have prevented him from playing for the senior side.
Now the Barcelona medical team are trying to salvage a situation that they preempted, but are failing. Vermaelen has not played a competitive match since the June 22 at the World Cup
Manchester United relief
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal must be so relieved that Wenger refused to sell Vermaelen to them in the summer. Having already experienced unprecedented injury problems at the back, Vermaelen would have added to the nightmare, as he surely would have been signed instead of Marcos Rojo.
The Old Trafford outfit have been forced to use youth team players to cover for injuries, but Rojo has been one of the few to stay fit.