Arsenal connection can beat Liverpool to £8m defender

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is hoping Thomas Vermaelen can help lure Jan Vertonghen to the club, according to reports.

The Daily Star claims the Frenchman is hoping the Ajax defender's compatriot can persuade his friend to move to the Emirates rather than Liverpool.

Kenny Dalglish is known to be interested in the player, with the Anfield outfit reportedly tracking the player in the summer in an effort to bring the player to Liverpool.

The club spent big in a variety of positions, including Sebastian Coates in defence, but the Liverpool boss is eager to strengthen further with veteran Jamie Carragher moving towards the final years of his career.

Arsenal, meanwhile, were pursuing defenders vigorously throughout the transfer window, bringing Per Mertesacker to the Emirates in the later stages of August.

However, Wenger is still thought to be monitoring a handful of options, with Gary Cahill being mentioned alongside Vertonghen as possible Arsenal targets in January.

“The fact Thomas and Jan are friends isn’t lost on Wenger. Maybe a right word will make the difference for Arsenal," an Ajax source told the paper.

“We know he’s leaving but not when – maybe in January.”

Liverpool will be unlikely to let the player move to north London without a fight though.

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