Parlour says it would be hard to stop Vermalen's Manchester United move

It is said the defender is on his way to Old Trafford.

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has said it may be hard for the Gunners to stop their club captain Thomas Vermalen making a move to Manchester United

There have been reports in the past few days linking the Belgian defender with a move to Old Trafford, with some even suggesting a deal is very close.

Vermalen hasn't seen much first team action at the Emirates Stadium last season with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesaker forming an effective partnership at the heart of the defence, whilst Kieran Gibbs has acquitted himself well at left-back, meaning Vermalen has only be used as cover.

Parlour told TalkSport: “Last year he couldn’t get in the Arsenal side because Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny were superb at the back. Kieran Gibbs has improved so much he couldn’t even play him at left-back.

“When you get to a situation where a squad member wants to move, sometimes the player has more sway than the club itself.

“If he wants to play football, and an offer comes in from a club like Manchester United, then it’s hard for the club to say, ‘no, you can’t go there, we want to sell you to a club in Italy or Spain’.

“He was doing the captain’s notes last year in the Arsenal programme but not getting in the team. I can’t see that changing anytime soon. He wants to play first team football.”

It could be a move that works well for both parties even if some fans are strongly opposed to such a deal taking place. Manchester United are in need of defensive reinforcements ahead of the new campaign whilst Vermalen will be eager for first team football - and it should also add some funds to the Arsenal transfer kitty if they don't opt for a swap deal as they look to kick on from last season's fourth place, and build on their FA Cup win.

United have been linked with several defenders but this seems to be the transfer rumour that has the most substance to it so far, though it has been said Arsenal may want a player exchange in a deal worth £10 million.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch