Man United set to agree £11m deal for third summer signing – Arsenal fans look away



Manchester United have agreed in principle a financial package to make Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen their third summer signing, with the Daily Star reporting that the Gunners are now the only obstacle to a deal which is thought to be worth around £11m.

United boss Louis van Gaal has identified Vermaelen as a player he thinks can help United shore up a central defensive area desperately short of quality cover thanks to the exits of veteran duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, but have so far been
met with stubborn resistance by Arsenal.

Vermaelen has been forced to play second fiddle to centre-back pair Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny over the last 18 months thanks to a combination of bad luck with injuries and a loss of form, although that doesn’t mean Wenger is prepared to let another of his stars join a direct Premier League rivals this summer.

Wenger has already flatly refused to entertain a £6m bid for his captain from United in the last fortnight, but has a tough decision to make as Vermaelen’s
current contract at the Emirates has just 12 months left to run.

Vermaelen was restricted to 14 Premier League appearances last season and looked mildly embarrassed to lift the FA Cup last season after failing to feature in the Wembley showpiece against Hull City, an act which could now be his last as an Arsenal player.

Arsenal have far from given hope of persuading the star to stay put and even potentially sign a new contract, but the lure of a fresh challenge and more
prominent role under Van Gaal could well be too strong.{GMS}


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