Reports: Thomas Vermaelen leaving, then not leaving

hand it over, m8 - Clive Mason

Thomas Vermaelen is leaving! Wait, Thomas Vermaelen is not leaving! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH.

It's the World Cup, so one would expect transfer stories to be at a minimum, save for announcements of completed deals. Newspapers, though, still want to GET THEIR HITS, so the Telegraph came out with a report, written by Short Fuse favourite Matt Law, stating that the occasional Arsenal captain had agreed personal terms with Manchester United for a reported £100k/week contract, and that the clubs would only need to agree a fee.

Vermaelen, of course, only has one year left on his contract, and has been out of favour since March 2013 due to his penchant for being well out of position leading to an easy concession of goals. The idea of selling Vermaelen and replacing him with someone younger, cheaper and better, such as Steven Caulker, is not shocking. That Louis van Gaal wants him for Manchester United is somewhat surprising, especially as Vermaelen wouldn't work with their best centre back, Johnny Evans, and a defensive partnership with someone like Phil Jones would be fairly amusing.

However, Vermaelen's agent, Kees Vos, denied reports that the oft-erroneous Belgian was off to Old Trafford, telling the BBC that there was "not an agreement with Manchester United or any other club". Vos is a rather dubious type, but agent speak is usually centred towards something that is not as strong. Later, the Daily Mirror came out with a story that Arsenal wanted cash and Tom Cleverley for Vermaelen, which seems to support Vos' point. After all, Arsene Wenger passing on Cesc Fabregas and signing Tom Cleverley, while great banter, isn't actually feasible.

RIGHT, ARSENE?

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