Thomas Vermaelen latest: Manchester United not prepared to pay Arsenal's £12m asking price and Gunners could offer defender new deal

Arsenal rejected United's initial £6m bid for the 28-year-old Belgian

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger is considering offering Thomas Vermaelen unless Manchester United stump up £12m for the Belgian defender.

The 28-year-old has just a year left to run on his current deal and new United boss Louis van Gaal sees him as the perfect defensive reinforcement after the club lost both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

However, Arsenal rejected United's opening £6m bid last week and Wenger is now considering extending Vermaelen's stay at the Emirates.

The Belgian is one of just three centre backs Wenger has in his squad - the fourth choice was right back Bacary Sagna, who has joined Manchester City - and the French boss may now offer Vermaelen a new deal.

Wenger is reluctant to sell another player to a rival having been so heavily criticised after the sales of Robin van Persie and a number of players to City.

Vermaelen, who could not dislodge the first choice pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny last year, wants more first team football. Injuries have led to a loss of form for the centre back.

Arsène Wenger is tempted to offer Vermaelen a new deal

However, Arsenal would be prepared to sell if an offer of around £12m came in, but Manchester United are unwilling to pay so much for a player whose contract is expiring.

United were willing to offer Vermaelen £1000-per-week, a bumper increase on the £70,000-per-week he earns at the Emirates.