Emirates Stadium and Old Trafford sides keen to complete deal.
Arsenal and Man United look to be closing in on a player swap deal that will see defender Thomas Vermaelen move to Old Trafford with winger Nani moving in the opposite direction.
It is believed that Gunners chief negotiator Richard Law has held talks with Man United chief executive Ed Woodward in the past couple of days and a deal is seemingly close to completion.
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Arsene Wenger had been looking to secure an extra defensive signing before considering the possibility of selling Belgian bit-part player Vermaelen but is happy to allow the move to progress, perhaps with a view to using Calum Chambers in a central defensive role if necessary.
Vermaelen has acted as a back-up to the first choice centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker for the best part of 18 months but was initially open to the possibility of continuing to fight for his place at the north London club.
However genuine interest from new Man United boss Louis Van Gaal has led to the former Ajax man pressing Wenger for a summer exit.
Van Gaal is looking to fill the defensive void left by the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic to QPR and Inter Milan respectively, and know Vermaelen well. The fact that the versatile Gunners captain can also act as a left-back option, Man United having allowed both Patrice Evra and Alexander Buttner both leave, to offer an alternative to new signing Luke Shaw has perhaps acted as extra motivation for the club’s interest.
Arsene Wenger has tracked Portuguese international Nani for some time and is known to be an admirer of the wide-attacker and with the futures of both Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski by no means certain the French boss is ready to agree a player exchange that will see the 27 year old Man United man to move to the Emirates Stadium.
Nani’s career at Man United has arguably been ‘on the slide’ ever since Sir Alex Ferguson took the decision to not name the flair player in his starting eleven for the 2011 Champions League final, this despite the tremendous form the player had displayed throughout the season.
Indeed Nani finished the 2010/11 season as the Premier League’s leading assist maker and had started four of the six knock-out encounters leading up to the Champions League final.
Since then Nani has been a peripheral player, struggling for form as well as suffering fitness issues, indeed last term he was handed just seven Premier League starts and has been strongly linked with a summer exit.
Though many offers are said to have come from the continent Nani is keen to remain in England, having settled in the country during his seven years at Man United and is said to be keen on a move to the capital.
There are serious questions about German forward Podolski’s future at Arsenal following a fairly ineffective injury prone campaign in 2013/14 and the speculation of such an exit reached boiling point when he is said to have accidentally hinted at a move to Sevilla via his official Twitter account.
Meanwhile 29 year old pint sized Spaniard Cazorla is said to be homesick and there is tangible interest from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, with Wenger open to such an exit providing Arsenal recoup a decent portion of the £15m they paid for the player two years ago.
Vermaelen is said to have all but agreed personal terms with Man United whilst Nani has done likewise with Arsenal which brings the deal firmly within sight.
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