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Thomas Vermaelen could head to Manchester United this summer (1)

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Football News

Thomas Vermaelen has not been subject to quite the same exhausting level of intense media scrutiny as the likes of Arturo Vidal or Angel di Maria this summer, but the Arsenal captain still finds himself at the heart of a transfer saga that should be resolved once and for all prior to September's deadline.

Having joined the Gunners from Eredivisie champions Ajax back in 2009, Vermaelen proved an incredibly steady and reliable performer under Arsene Wenger and was suitably rewarded for such obvious strengths with the captain's armband following the controversial sale of Robin van Persie to rivals Manchester United.

Declining influence

But while his commitment and passion for the cause at the Emirates Stadium has rarely been called into question, Vermaelen has seen his influence at the club steadily decline of late.

Wenger's preference for a central-defensive partnership of Laurent Koscielny and World Cup winner Per Mertesacker has left no room for him in the heart of the back four, while the continued development of Kieran Gibbs - whom many Arsenal fans could not believe was overlooked for England's 2014 World Cup squad - means Vermaelen is also merely a back-up option for the left-back role.

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Transfer contenders

Given that aforementioned loss of a regular starting starting beth and many of Europe's top clubs in obvious need of defensive strengthening, rumours regarding a potential North London exit for Vermaelen - who could earn Arsenal as much as £15 million - are seriously beginning to gather pace as the 2014/15 season appears ever closer on the horizon.

With that in mind, here we take a look at those clubs linked with Vermaelen in recent weeks and assess which fit might be the best for the experienced 28-year-old moving forward.

Without further ado, click 'begin slideshow' to see the list of leading contenders and don't forget to leave your thoughts on the matter on the comment box provided below.

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Thomas Vermaelen
Premier League
Manchester United

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