The Belgium centre-back is not without admirers as Arsenal fail to hold onto their talisman with a new deal and risk losing the player on a free next season the Independent claim.
It has been no secret that Manchester United have been looking to replace Vidic and Ferdinand, targeting Vermaelen to fill that role for them this season. Arsene Wenger does not want to sell his captain but reports in the Independent state that the player is ‘unwilling’ to sign a new deal at the club which would force Arsenal to accept an offer this window rather than let the player go for nothing next summer.
It was recently reported that the player who stayed behind in London to recover from a hamstring injury rather than go to the clubs pre-season camp had lost his shirt number to the new transfer arrival and speculation over his future is set to continue with a number of clubs ready to offer the player a place in their squads.
As well as Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United it is thought that Barcelona and Napoli are also interested in the services of the 28-year-old. It is thought that a factor in Manchester United’s favour is the close friendship he has with van Persie, with whom he also shares an agent.
A previously rejected bid of around £7m was made by United in this transfer window and it remains to be seen if a bidding war may push the price up significantly. With the defender rejecting a new deal and being third choice in his position behind Koscielny and Per Mertesacker a move now seems inevitable.