Arsenal have played down rumours that Arsene Wenger was considering a shock move for former defender Thomas Vermaelen.
The Gunners’ centre-back crisis has seen them linked with a whole host of potential signings, but according to the Evening Standard, this is one deal that isn’t going to be happening.
While the club declined to officially comment on the speculation, it’s understood that Vermaelen isn’t on his way back to North London, as was suggested by some reports in Spain.
The 30-year-old’s future at Barcelona is uncertain as Luis Enrique is hoping to reinvigorate his defence by injecting youth into their back line. He has also been linked with Liverpool, the only club whose defensive shortage is possibly even worse than Arsenal’s.
Shkodran Mustafi is thought to be Wenger’s preferred option, but Valencia’s asking price is now £42.1million. Initially, it seemed they would accept less than that, but the Spanish side are now holding firm.
If Vermaelen and Mustafi are both to be ruled out, then Arsenal could surprise everyone with who they bring in – but that’s only if Wenger keeps to his word and signs a centre-back at all.