THE STORY Sky Sports report that Barcelona have made a £10m bid for Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelan. The player has been linked with a possible move to Manchester United, but the Spanish club look to have moved first in the race to sign the Belgian defender.
TRUTH RATING 7/10 Vermaelan is in the last year of his contract with Arsenal. Last season he started just seven Premier League games, and manager Arsene Wenger clearly prefers the centre-back partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
It appears clear that the club captain will leave, after Wenger admitted he could not guarantee the defender regular football.
However, to say that Barcelona have already won the race to sign him may be premature. United need to add to their defence too, with Phil Jones in particular looking exposed during their pre-season match against Liverpool. If Sky's sources are correct, this first bid could kick the Manchester club into action.
That said, Arsenal will presumably be more willing to let their captain go abroad, rather than see him join up with fellow former Gunner Robin van Persie at their Premier League rivals.