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United end Vermaelen chase

Manchester United have ended their pursuit of Thomas Vermaelen after refusing to consider a player-swap deal with Arsenal, according to Sky sources.

Last Updated: 08/08/14 at 12:07

Thomas Vermaelen: Arsenal defender will not join Manchester United

Thomas Vermaelen: Arsenal defender will not join Manchester United

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Vermaelen, who is also reported to be wanted by Barcelona, had been linked with a move to Old Trafford but it is understood Arsenal were not prepared to sanction a direct sale to United.

New United boss Louis van Gaal wanted to bring in the Belgian defender to add experience to his squad following the summer departures of Rio Ferdinand, Nemandja Vidic and Patrice Evra.

Earlier this week Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger gave a strong hint that Vermaelen would be leaving and that United was a possible destination.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield with Manchester City at Wembley, Wenger admitted there had been interest in his captain but refused to reveal who had been in touch, although he did confirm United “could be in the group”.

"Have we received bids? Yes. I can't tell you who from but you will know very soon," he said. "Are Man United one of the teams to have made an offer? I think they could be in the group."

"Ideally, yes, we would like to sell him abroad and that is an option for us.

"I don't want to say how many offers we have but we have offers from abroad as well."

Vermaelen has been at Arsenal since 2009 and remains their official club captain, but he was not a regular started last season as Wenger preferred to partner Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker together in central defence.

Wenger believes it is important for Vermaelen to play, saying:  "He could leave, it could happen, I've said that since the start of pre-season.

“He needs to play now. He has shown an outstanding attitude but he is in a position where we wouldn't stand in his way if he finds an interesting opportunity."

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
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