Arsenal Brace Themselves As Fiorentina Prepare bids For Two Players

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Gunners pair wanted in Florence.

Fiorentina are keen on signing Arsenal duo Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen, according to reports in Italy.

Sport Mediaset claim that the Serie A side are working hard in an attempt to bring the pair to Florence this summer.

Captain Vermaelen, 28, made just seven league starts this season in a campaign that was punctuated by injuries. When fit though, he struggled to get into the side, with Arsene Wenger preferring Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

The Belgian defender’s current contract is due to expire in June 2015 and he could be allowed to leave the Gunners on the cheap.

Arteta, 32, also has just over 12 months left to run on his Arsenal deal. However, unlike Vermaelen, the Spaniard was a regular starter this season.

Operating mainly as a deep-lying midfielder, Arteta made 31 Premier League appearances, scoring two goals. His pass completion rate was an impressive 92.1 per cent.

Arsenal finished fourth in England’s top-flight, securing their place in the Champions League for a 17th successive season.

Fiorentina also placed fourth in their domestic league, but that was only good enough to see Vincenzo Montella’s men qualify for the Europa League.

The Viola played 12 Europa League games this season, reaching the last 16 before losing 2-1 on aggregate to Italian rivals Juventus.

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