Wednesday 24 January 2018

Barca triumph would secure £3m bonus for Gunners

Arsenal are set to cash in if Lionel Messi and company beat Juventus in the Champions League final
Arsenal are set to cash in if Lionel Messi and company beat Juventus in the Champions League final

Matt Law

Arsenal are on course to bank £3 m if Barcelona beat Juventus in the final of the Champions League as part of the deal that took Thomas Vermaelen to Spain.

Despite the fact Vermaelen is yet to play a single minute for Barca because of injuries, Arsenal structured his £15m transfer to include a number of club-related bonuses. One of those was a £3m payment if Barca win the Champions League, regardless of the extent of Vermaelen's involvement.

Vermaelen could get a Champions League winner's medal, as Barca would be awarded 40 medals to share around their squad if they were to beat Juve in the final in Berlin on June 6. A thigh injury has wiped out Vermaelen's first season at the Nou Camp, although he was among the substitutes for the 3-0 semi-final first-leg victory over Bayern Munich.

Netting £15m for a player with Vermaelen's injury record looked like a wise piece of business at the time, but securing bonus payments without the Belgian playing only underlines what a good deal Arsenal negotiated. The extra £3m Arsenal receive if Barca win the Champions League can go back into Arsene Wenger's transfer pot.

Wenger wants a midfielder, with Ilkay Gundogan one target, and a goalkeeper, with Chelsea's Petr Cech favoured. Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel is another option Arsenal have considered, although they could face competition from Liverpool and other Premier League clubs.

Schmeichel, the son of Manchester United goalkeeping legend Peter, has impressed in Leicester's climb away from relegation.

The 28-year-old is believed to be happy at the King Power Stadium, but would be interested in a move to a Champions League club or a club with top-four aspirations. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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