Arsene Wenger appears resigned to the fact that defender Thomas Vermaelen will leave the club. The Belgian international has been linked with a move away from Arsenal for the last few transfer windows, but Manchester United have emerged as the surprise destination for the 28-year-old. Despite being on the sidelines consistently for the last few seasons, United see Vermaelen has someone who can effectively replace Patrice Evra and Ferdinand at the same time. This is because of his versatility that allows him to play at centre back or left back.
Further, since he has only 12 months left on his contract, he is unlikely to cost more than £ 6 million. This is substantially lower than the £ 10 million Arsenal paid to Ajax for his transfer in 2009. Only a few summers ago, he was linked with a £ 20 million move to Barcelona. It was the start of his decline at Arsenal after Arsene Wenger dropped due to the transfer rumours affecting him. Despite not playing regularly, Vermaelen has been part of the Belgian national team and was also seen at the World Cup 2014. He recently refused to give assurance that he would remain an Arsenal player after the transfer window.
Arsenal and United have recently negotiated in the transfer of Robin van Persie, who joined Old Trafford in a £24 million deal. “I cannot guarantee he will stay, but should he go I would bring another centre-back in for sure. I haven’t spoken to him [Wilshere] so it’s very difficult for me to make any statement. I know what you can make of pictures – I have to speak to him really to see what happened before I come out publicly,” said Wenger about the future of Vermaelen, while also speaking about Jack Wilshere being caught smoking once again.