Thomas Vermaelen transfer latest: Liverpool enter the race to sign Arsenal captain Vermaelen as Calum Chambers deal nears completion

Vermaelen has been linked with both Manchester United and Barcelona but Liverpool are reportedly interested in the Belgium international

Liverpool could look to gain a march on their fierce rivals Manchester United by signing Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, whose future remains unclear as to where he will be playing his football this season.

Vermaelen appeared close to a move to United after he reportedly agreed terms with the Red Devils, only for Arsene Wenger to pull the plug on the deal due to a lack of defenders in his squad. The Belgian star will return from a post-World Cup break this week, but it’s believed that he could be offered the chance to join Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers continues his summer recruitment drive.

According to the Sunday Express, Rodgers will move for Vermaelen in the hope that he can fend off interest from United and Spanish side Barcelona, who are both going through a squad revamp this summer after below-par campaigns last season.

Video: The latest transfer news

Liverpool saw the Premier League title slip though their grasp last season due to their leaky defence, as they conceded more goals than all of their nearest rivals over the course of the campaign. Having completed the signing of Dejan Lovren for £20m on Sunday, Liverpool have already shelled out a whopping £79m on new players during this transfer window, although that figure is largely funded by the £75m sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

 

Arsenal are reluctant to sell their club captain despite a number of clubs interested in his services, as the Gunners are short on options at the back. Having seen Bacary Sagna depart on a free transfer at the end of the season as he joined Manchester City, Arsenal only have Laurent Koscielny and Vermaelen currently available as Per Metesacker remains on holiday following Germany’s World Cup success.

Wenger has already confirmed that the German will miss the Community Shield encounter against Manchester City on Sunday 10 August, and he is also a doubt for their opening league match versus Crystal Palace as he, Mesut Özil and Lukas Podolski aren’t due to return from their holiday until 11 August.

Read more: United confident they will land Vermaelen
Arsenal to land Chambers and take spending past £50m
Wenger: Chambers is a gamble worth taking

With Mertesacker absent Vermaelen could be needed to partner Koscielny, although a £16m move for Southampton defender Calum Chambers is likely to go through this week with the 19-year-old able to deputise at centre-back if needed.

Wenger’s latest addition to the squad, should Chambers complete his move, will see their spending exceed the £50m mark for just the second time under Arsene Wenger – and indeed in the club’s history – following the 2011-12 spending spree that totalled £54.1m.

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