Barcelona Continue Arsenal Raid, Now Target Defender - Report
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 17, 2013 6:58 PM EST
Barcelona are interested in signing Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, according to the Sunday People. The Catalans are believed to want the Belgian to replace Eric Abidal.
The 33-year-old Abidal has had long-term health problems and was given a liver transplant in April last year. The French international has not played for the Nou Camp side since then and has made only one competitive appearance for Les Blues this season. And although Barcelona's support of Abidal in these conditions has been exemplary, his health problems and advancing age has forced the club to look for replacements and Vermaelen appears to be the defender of choice.
The 27-year-old Belgian international only joined Arsene Wenger's men in 2009 but is already the first team captain and has made more than 100 appearances for the Gunners. Arsenal fans will therefore be anxious that he not leave the Emirates and follow an increasingly long list of players swapping north London for Barcelona. Should the Belgian make the switch, it will also mark the third straight summer that Wenger has allowed high-profile first team players to leave the club.
The Catalans will be aware of the difficulty in prising yet another player from Arsenal but will almost definitely look to use Spain striker David Villa as bait in any offer. The 31-year-old ex-Valencia forward is a World Cup and European Championship winner with Spain and a La Liga and Champions League winner with Barcelona. He is coming off a broken leg from 2011 and a lack of consistent game time at the Nou Camp but the fact he has still managed 11 goals this season is proof he could contribute at the Emirates.
Wenger was strongly linked with a move for the forward in January and was even believed to have made a deadline day offer for him. Villa, for his part, has confessed he would like to play for Arsenal. Unfortunately, Barcelona were unwilling to sell him in the middle of the season. A summer swap could be on the cards but reports that Wenger has lost interest in Villa have also been circulating. In any case, as things stand now, is unlikely to be particularly advantageous to Arsenal.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
Join the Conversation
- Manny Pacquiao Begins Training Sans Freddie Roach
- Boxing News 2014: Showtime VP Favours Pacquiao As Mayweather’s Next Ring Opponent; Money May Insists Fight Should Be Over Showtime PPV Only
- Three Reasons Why Brock Lesnar Must Fight The Undertaker At Night Of Champions And Not John Cena [VIDEO]
- Michael Schumacher Rehabilitation Update: F1 Champion In-Home Health Care And Services Consist Of 15 Medical Staff
- Miami Heat Prepare For Life Without LeBron James, To Feature More Of Wade And Bosh In New System
- Pregnant Kate Middleton May Call Off Malta Trip Due To Sickness: Royal Couple Will Move To Anmer Hall Residence
- iOS 8 Release Date Of Sept 17 Has Arrived: Update Begins At 10AM Pacific Time, Upgrade Your iDevices With iOS 7.1.2 First To Install iOS 8
- iPhone 6 Plus vs Xiaomi Mi4 – The iPhone Killer Certainly Can Battle Well With The New Apple Phablet
- Ukraine Crisis: Poland Denies Supplying Weapons To Kiev
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Countdown Begins Oct 8: 8 Killer Specs and Features to Expect
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MF 370: Indonesian Police Chief Claims He Knows What Happened To Missing Jet
- HTC Desire 820 (Octa-Core) vs. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact – Specifications, Features, Release Date And Price Showdown