Notice the asterisk? We SHOULD sell Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona for the reported £16m – BUT under one condition – we find a replacement first.
The Gunners captain has been linked with Manchester United for some time, with a £10m deal mooted as a potential opportunity for Arsene Wenger to cash in. This is a player who wants to leave for regular football and has just one year on his current deal.
Enter Barcelona. According to the Express, the Catalan giants are eager to reinforce their defence with the Belgian. But Arsenal simply cannot afford to sell him just yet.
Currently in pre-season the Gunners have no senior centre backs in the squad for their trip to New York, however Laurent Koscielny will return soon after along with Vermaelen (hopefully. Koscielny’s partner in crime Per Mertesacker, fresh off the boat with a World Cup winning medal, is not expected to be return to training until five days before the season. So he will be at least a couple weeks short
Arsenal should certainly take up Barcelona’s offer of £16m. It’s a brilliant sum for a player who is not quite a dependable as we’d hoped and does not have a long term future at the club. It will also prevent him strengthening a rival in Manchester United. But we simply cannot afford to sell him until we find a replacement and add depth to our backline.