Arsenal’s rivals Spurs have been hot favourites to sign the versatile defender, but it was the Emirates where he visited last week to watch Arsenal beat AC Milan 3-0 in the Champions League, apparently at the request of former Ajax team-mate Thomas Vermaelen. He has now fueled the fire by expressing his interest in Arsenal and may well be reunited with his compariot Vermaelen next season, he told the Daily Express:
My agent knows what clubs I’m willing to go to. Arsenal are obviously one of them. Ajax are busy trying to find solutions to replace me.
Who wouldn’t want to play football at a top club in England? But first I want to concentrate fully on the title race.
Vertonghen has been a regular at Ajax for some years now and became captain last summer, he is a similar mold of Vermaelen as he is extremely strong and commanding and is only 24-years-old. He is set to be available this summer but will Wenger bring him in with the Verminator, Koscielny and Mertesacker first team starters with Miquel and Djourou backup? The Swiss centreback should be sold so that can free up some room, but Vertonghen can also play leftback and as a defensive midfielder. Then again Wenger has Frimpong and Coquelin to provide backup for the always-featuring Alex Song.
Anyway, onto the midfielders M’Vila and Hazard..
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The 21-year-old has been a regular in the French national side and his highly rated around Europe as top class defensive midfielder, with Wenger a known admirer will he take another stab this summer at bringing the Frenchman to the Emirates?
Rennes manager Antonetti admits he now faces the reality of loosing his star man at the end of the season in order to allow M’Vila’s career flourish.
He told Radio Monte Carlo:
Yann M’Vila won’t be a Stade Rennais player next season
M’Vila is set to be a top, top player but Real Madrid look the most likely of candidates to take him with Wenger unlikely to acquire another central/defensive midfielder with such a long list available at his disposal. Not saying that the Frenchman wouldn’t be as good as the current crop of midfielders at the Emirates but there’s a lengthy queue of some quality players in the squad.
Hazard, who has scored 11 times in 27 appearances so far this season, concedes that he is likely to move onto an English club when the time is right and that the interest shown by United excites him, but insists that he must keep focus on his duties with Lille.
The Belgium international told La Voix du Nord:
Of course [United interest me], this is a club that excites everyone, but for now my focus is on Lille.
But yes, it is a pleasure to be watched by one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best.]
There are a host of clubs watching the Belgian maestro, particularly Spurs and Manchester United with Sir Alex Ferguson watching Hazard in Lille’s 2-1 recent defeat to Lyon. While Hazard has confirmed he will be moving to a English club, it is still unclear on where he will go. He has already stated that he will move to a team where he is 100% guaranteed to play week-in week-out, which may rule out the large squad Manchester City but at this stage United look favourites to land the Belgian.