Gunners ready to scupper United move.
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to spoil Manchester United’s transfer plans by offloading Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona instead, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Gunners’ captain has been linked with a number of top clubs this summer after finding himself out of favour at the Emirates Stadium in recent times, with Wenger preferring Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny as his first-choice central defensive partnership.
United have been one of the clubs strongly linked with an interest in the £10m-rated Vermaelen, with new Old Trafford head coach Louis van Gaal keen to bring in new signings at the back after seeing both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leave the club this summer.
Vermaelen can also provide cover at left-back, which will be useful after Patrice Evra’s departure leaves youngster Luke Shaw as the only current option in that role, but Arsenal are keen to avoid selling one of their key players to a rival.
Barcelona are also in the hunt for the Belgian international’s signature, and it is now thought that Wenger will do his best to send the player to the Nou Camp rather than Old Trafford if possible.
The two clubs are in talks after Barca made a £10m bid for the 28-year-old, but United are still in the running for his signature.