Arsenal are reportedly looking at Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as possible replacements for their outgoing captain.
The North London side want to bring in one of the Manchester United pair before allowing any of their defenders leave, reports The Mirror.
Arsene Wenger wants cash plus a player before letting Thomas Vermaelen go to Manchester United.
With the star a £10million target for the Reds, Arsenal boss Wenger has Phil Jones and Chris Smalling in his sights.
The Gunners are in need of additional defenders during the transfer window. Thomas Vermaelen looks set to join Manchester United in a £10 million deal, leaving Arsenal with just Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny as dedicated centre backs in the first team squad.
The arrival of new manager Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford could well signal a significant overhaul of the playing staff.
But, we think that Arsenal will have a massive uphill struggle to get either of them. There is a chance that Van Gaal won’t rate Smalling, who cost around €9m from Fulham in 2010. He’s been inconsistent for Manchester United.
But he does have all the qualities required for a top Premier League defender. He’s very quick, strong, tall and has decent feet. He looked completely out of his depth at right back last season But he’s a good central defender who will improve.
Arsenal have even less chance of snaring Phil Jones. Jones, who was acquired in a €21.5m deal in 2011, hasn’t been terribly consistent but you can see the quality in the lad. Manchester United spent megabucks on Jones as they probably saw him as a future captain.
While the team performed poorly last season he was one of the better players. He is still bit raw at centre back, but he gave some imperious displays on the right to prove his adaptability for Manchester United.
We would be absolutely amazed if Manchester United allowed Jones to leave. You can see that he’s going to be a big player for club and country if he can get over the niggling and sometimes careless injuries.
As for Smalling, Arsenal may get a sniff but we think that he will also get a season to prove himself under the new manager at Old Trafford.
Let’s see Jones in action. Arsenal fans: Do you want either of these two?