Barcelona Confident Of Beating Man United To Defensive Star

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La Liga giants leading the chase for Gunners stopper.

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La Liga giants Barcelona are confident of beating Manchester United to the signature of Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, according to Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague.

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Both United and Barca have been linked with making a move for the Belgian international this summer, and reports recently suggested that Gunners chief Arsene Wenger would rather move him on to a club overseas rather than sell to a direct rival.

United boss Louis Van Gaal had targeted the 28-year-old to replace the gaping hole left by Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who both departed from the club at the end of last season.

However, Barca also want to find a replacement for club legend Carles Puyol, who retired this summer after complications with numerous injuries took their toll on his ageing body.

Balague is claiming that the deal to take him to Barcelona is virtually done, and that he should be arriving in the city very soon.

Should Vermaelen arrive at the Nou Camp, he will line up alongside fellow new defensive signing Jeremy Mathieu, who arrived recently from Valencia for £16m.

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