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Report: Arsenal in talks with Barcelona over Vermaelen

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The out of favour captain is inching ever closer to leaving.

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Alexander Hassenstein

Arsenal have entered "high-level talks" with Barcelona with regards to the transfer of Thomas Vermaelen according to Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph. The Catalans have made a £10m bid for the club captain, with Manchester United holding competing interest, having already made a bid of equal value. United are considering making an improved bid and Vermaelen has agreed personal terms with Manchester United, but Arsenal are reluctant to sell to a Premier League rival. Provided Vermaelen agrees to a deal with Barcelona, Arsenal would sell him to Spain.

If Vermaelen, who is currently injured, does leave, Arsène Wenger will sign a centre back to replace Vermaelen and provide back up for Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, with the latter in contention to be named Arsenal captain. Mikel Arteta, the current vice-captain and often the captain in Vermaelen's absence, is also an option to be named captain.

Further on in Wilson's article, there is also mention of Arsenal letting Lukas Podolski leave in order to free up wages and squad space.