Following yet another successful campaign for the Gunners, it’s no surprise to see Thomas Vermaelen linked with other European clubs. Unfortunately for Arsenal, the two clubs that are supposedly chasing Vermaelen are rather illustrious, and it remains to be seen if Arsene Wenger can fight off the advances that are reportedly set to come from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Since joining Arsenal from Ajax in 2009, Vermaelen has gone on to become one the Gunners’ most prized assets and struck up an impressive central defensive partnership with Laurent Koscielny last year. However, according to newspaper reports, Barcelona are keen admirers of the 26-year-old and will make a bid should their pursuit of Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez come to an end this summer. Real Madrid are also lurking in the background, although it’s thought that their interest is not as substantial as that of their rivals.
However, while Arsene Wenger has become used to losing players to other European clubs over the years, it would appear he has a fighting chance of keeping hold of this one. Vermaelen has made no secret of the fact that he is extremely happy with his life in England, saying only last month that he wishes to stay at the Emirates Stadium for the remainder of his career, “I will stay at Arsenal forever. There will be no transfer for me. I love London. I’ve got a house there, I’m happy there and I don’t see any reason to ever leave the club.”
Should the Gunners be forced to sell the Belgium international, it would be yet another massive blow for Wenger. While speculation mounts on the future of Robin Van Persie, Wenger has been trying to revamp his Arsenal squad so that it can at least compete for top honours next term. Should his star defender depart, that will prove extremely troublesome indeed.