Arsenal close in on the next Thomas Vermaelen

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Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen is reportedly still on Arsenal's radar.

The Daily Mirror claims that Arsene Wenger has dispatched his scouts to monitor the 23-year-old after missing out on him during the summer transfer window.

Vertonghen plays alongside Arsenal ace Thomas Vermaelen at the heart of the Belgium defence and has seen himself compared to his international teammate.

Vermaelen was also at Ajax when he caught Arsenal's eye - moving to the Emirates for £8 million in 2009 - and Vertonghen looks like he may follow suit.

The two centre-backs have a good relationship both on and off the field, and it is understood that Vermaelen is attempting to persuade his compatriot to join Arsenal.

Earlier this summer Vertonghen commented that his former Ajax club mate had been telling him excellent things about playing for Arsenal and living in London.

He said: "He [Vermaelen] is one of my best friends and I'm very happy he has been such a success at Arsenal. He tells me really good things about Arsenal and living in London.”

The former the former RKC Waalwijik loanee has also previously boosted Wenger in the pursuit of his signature by stating that he has his sights set on a move to the Premier League next summer.

"I am ambitious. I want to play in the Premier League," he added.

“The Premier League is my favourite competition but I need one more year before I am ready. I always said I don't want to move this year so the clubs never came to me.

"They always went to Ajax and the club always said they didn't want to sell me so I will stay for another year."

Ajax's financial difficulties have been well-documented and they could be forced to sell assets like Vertonghen next summer in order to ease their economic plight.

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Thomas Vermaelen
Premier League

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