Thomas Vermaelen transfer latest: Mikel Arteta set to be named Arsenal captain as Vermaelen prepares £15m move to Barcelona

Arteta is the current vice-captain and looks to have beaten Per Mertesacker to the armband

Arsene Wenger will resist the urge to hand one of his young guns the responsibility of taking over the captain’s armband as he looks set to name Mikel Arteta as Arsenal’s new skipper.

Thomas Vermaelen looks to be on his way to Barcelona after a £15m transfer was agreed for the Belgian centre-back, with Arteta and Per Mertesacker the leading choices to take over the role. Wenger could look to hand the responsibility to one of his younger players though, with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere potential Arsenal captains for the future.

With Vermaelen on his way, the logic would be to promote current vice-captain Arteta to take the role full-time, having skippered the Gunners for the majority of last season as Vermaelen struggled to break into the first team due to the impressive form of Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

But there are problems with naming Arteta as Vermaelen’s successor. The Spaniard only has a year remaining on his current contract and could leave the club next summer should he fail to negotiate an extension. There is also a chance that he won’t be a regular figure in the team this season with Arsenal looking to strengthen the defensive midfield role that Arteta currently fulfils.

 

With reported interest in the Sami Khedira, William Carvalho and Lars Bender, Wenger looks primed and ready to delve into the transfer market once again. The 64-year-old Frenchman has already spent over £60m on the additions of Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers, but he has admitted that he will look to strengthen the side further should the right opportunity arise.

With doubts over Arteta’s future, Wenger could look to Mertesacker to lead his side as a more long-term option who is a near-certainty for the first team. Arsenal could look to try out Wilshere in Arteta’s position as they look to fit him in to their hugely talented midfield, which could see Arteta pay the price as a result.

Read more: Diaby admits he considered retirement
Rosicky feels he owes everything to Arsenal
Ox wants FA Cup success to breed momentum

Meanwhile, Vermaelen looks set to head to Spain after Manchester United ended their interest in the Belgium international. Louis van Gaal had been keen on signing the 28-year-old, but they called off negotiations when Arsenal wanted Chris Smalling as part of the deal.

Barcelona director Raul Sanllehi arrivied in London this week and is expected to offer Vermaelen a four-year contract worth around £80,000-a-week. Despite the signing of Chambers, Vermaelen’s departure leaves the Gunners a little light at the back, and they could look to add another defender so they do not have to rely on the likes of Nacho Monreal to play as a makeshift centre-back as he has done in pre-season.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Written protest: Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, has sent an open letter to the Culture Secretary
books
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Sport
footballDoes Hodgson's England team have an identity yet?
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss