–Spanish side beat Man Utd to Arsenal captain
BARCELONA have confirmed the signing of Manchester United target Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal for £15million on a five-year-deal.
The 28-year-old versatile defender was allowed to leave the Emirates after failing to hold down a place in the starting XI, with Arsene Wenger preferring to pair Per Mertesacker with Laurent Koscielny last season.
The Belgian star was tipped to join Louis Van Gaal at United, but Wenger refused to sanction a move when he was rebuffed in his efforts take Chris Smalling in exchange.
United’s failure opened the door for Barcelona, and Luis Enrique has wasted no time in securing Vermaelen’s signature on a long-term deal.
The Catalan giants have been in the market for a new centre-back after club legend Carles Puyol retired at the end of last season, and Vermaelen will be hoping he can break into the start line-up past the likes of ex-Premier League duo Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano.
Barcelona posted a message on their club website, confirming: “FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of the Belgian international, who will sign a five-year contract with the Catalan club.”