Thomas Vermaelen’s move to Old Trafford hangs in the balance
Arsene Wenger wants any United deal for Vermaelen to include players heading from Old Trafford to Arsenal, and is also on the hunt for a goalkeeper
Thomas Vermaelen’s proposed move to Manchester United is in doubt amid Arsenal’s preference for a deal that would also involve a player or players coming in the opposite direction.
Arsenal have no particular financial incentive to sell their captain and are well aware that, with Bacary Sagna having moved to Manchester City, they are already short of back-up in the centre-back position.
Their preference would be to get players as well as cash from Manchester United for Vermaelen. That would clearly depend upon Louis van Gaal’s attitude and it is unclear which Manchester United players Arsene Wenger would like. Wenger did previously bid for Chris Smalling prior to his move from Fulham to Manchester United.
Vermaelen is third-choice centre-back at Arsenal, behind Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, but Van Gaal is interested in giving him a fresh chance at United.
Wenger also wants to add a goalkeeper this summer and is expected to bid for the Colombia international David Ospina.
Arsenal expect to confirm the signings this week of two new right-backs, Newcastle’s Mathieu Debuchy and Atletico Madrid’s Javi Manquillo. Their arrivals will mean loaning out Carl Jenkinson for the experience of regular first-team football.
Having completed a £30m deal last week with Barcelona for Alexis Sanchez, Wenger would also still like to make a major signing in central midfield. There is interest in Germany internationals Lars Bender and Sami Khedira, while talks will also be held over the future of Mikel Arteta, who has one remaining year on his contract.