PHOTO: Is this why Manchester United want to sign Vermaelen from Arsenal?

Is Robin van Persie key behind Manchester United moving for Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen?

Manchester United were yesterday said to be on the verge of signing Thomas Vermaelen report The Telegraph.

Prior to his agent's denial, the defender was said to have agreed a £100,000 a week deal, and would become the second Arsenal captain in three seasons to switch to Old Trafford.

His agent stated no deal was agreed now though, failing to rule out the possibility that a switch could happen.

And if it did, it could be Robin van Persie who is instrumental behind his switch.

Van Persie clearly has the ear of his Dutch boss Louis van Gaal, pictured several times with him watching games in Holland together before the manager agreed to take over at Manchester United.

Vermaelen may have lost his place at Arsenal over the pas 18 months, but he is a player who Van Persie enjoyed a productive relationship with, and who when he left, was seen as an integral Arsenal player.

The defender had just gone through a period of scoring frequently at the end of the 2011/12 season, and Van Persie would often be the first player he would celebrate with.

The Belgian even went as far as to attribute his success in front of goal, in part to the striker: "You just have to make good runs and sometimes the ball comes in there and you can score goals.

"It is the delivery as well. Robin has a great free-kick and for us that is very important, I think everything helps for us in that situation.''

Van Persie and Vermaelen were the two leaders in Arsenal's side at that point and forged a bond together on and off the field.

It would not be surprising at all if Van Persie emerges as key in United signing his former teammate, and his subsequent rejuvenation.

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