Arsenal Transfer News: Defender Refuses to Speculate on Future as Reports Continue over Possible Summer Exit
By Deepak Vikraman | March 13, 2014 4:39 PM EST
Thomas Vermaelen refused to be drawn out over a possible exit from Arsenal this summer.
The Belgian international has been very much on the periphery this season, with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker forging a brilliant central defensive partnership at the back.
The bench time has expectedly led to reports of an exit at the end of the season, with several clubs from Italy, Spain and English Premier League rivals Manchester United reportedly showing an interest.
Vermaelen will have only one year remaining on his contract come the summer, and speculation will only increase as time goes on over the defender's future.
"There has been a lot of speculation, but I can't talk about it because I don't know what is going on," Vermaelen said. "My focus is on Arsenal at the moment. There is still a lot to play for -- I can't do anything about rumours."
Vermaelen made a bright start to life at Arsenal when he moved to the North London club in 2009, but injuries and the form of Koscielny and Mertesacker have now consigned the Belgian to third-choice at the club, something that the club skipper admitted he has found a little hard to deal with.
"It is not easy, but I try to stay positive," Vermaelen added. "Firstly, I have been injured in the last couple of weeks, but when the boss needs me, I try to play well.
"I know anything can happen, so I am happy to play when he needs me. From my point of view, I hope it is as much as it can be. I work hard for the team and that is the only thing that I can do."
Meanwhile, Arsenal vice-captain Mikel Arteta believes if his side can go all the way and win the FA Cup this season, it might herald a new trophy-winning era for the club.
"I think it would be a turning point for the club," Arteta was quoted as saying by the club's official website. "[If we won a trophy] it would give you a lift, give you belief that you can start to go in the right direction and hopefully we can do it.
"We have two competitions that we are still in. We want to fight for the league, for sure, and we have a great chance in the FA Cup as well. So we need to enjoy the moment and make the most of it because I think we can do something good.
"We know we are favourites [for the FA Cup]. We know that puts more pressure on us but we are happy with the win in the quarterfinal. There is still a month to go [until the semifinal] and there are some tough games coming up.
"That's why it is important to get some momentum for that moment and go there with belief and in good form."
The one way to keep your important players at the club is to keep winning trophies; if Arsenal can take the FA Cup, and go as close as possible with the Premier League, or even win it, as well then the likes of Vermaelen, even with little playing time, will be more than happy to remain - there is nothing that keeps a player happy more than winning trophies consistently.
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