Vermaelen close to Gunners exit

Thomas Vermaelen’s agent Alex Kroes has revealed that the defender has told Arsene Wenger that he wants to leave the club at the end of the season, according to the Metro.

The 28 year old has failed to hold down a first team place with the Gunners this season due to the continued form of Laurent Koscielny and Per Metersacker.

The former Ajax man has started just three Premier League games, the last of which being the victory at West Ham United on Boxing Day.

He has been linked with a move to Napoli, though Kroes has denied that a deal with the Serie A club has already been agreed.

Elsewhere, the club have been told by Marseille that they will have to pay £10m if they want to secure the services of Mathieu Valbuena, the Express understands.

The 29 year old midfielder, who has also been linked with a move to Liverpool, has been told he can move on and will be allowed to leave if a reasonable offer is received.

He has been with the Ligue 1 side since the summer of 2006, scoring thirty-five goals in two hundred and eighty-nine appearances, winning the league in 2010 as well as three French League Cups and two French Super Cups.