Manchester United told to double bid for Arsenal defender - is he worth £12m?

Thomas Vermaelen Pre FA Cup Press Conference

Whilst reports last week suggested that Manchester United were set to sign Thomas Vermaelen, there has been a hold up in the deal.

United are expected to overhaul their squad this summer, with Louis van Gaal now in the hot seat after the dismal ten month stint under David Moyes' stewardship. It seems Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera is set to arrive at Old Trafford, but van Gaal must revamp the centre of his defence after the departures of long-term pairing Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

Big money moves for Porto's Eliaquim Mangala and Atletico Madrid's Miranda have been suggested in the press, but it was a shock name that hit the headlines last week, as Arsenal's Vermaelen was the subject of a £6m bid from United, with van Gaal seemingly seeking a defender who is comfortable with the ball at his feet.

Vermaelen's experience with Ajax will no doubt help him in that regard, but he has barely featured over the last year, as Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has settled on Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as his first choice pairing at centre back.

With Vermaelen seeking first-team football, it seemed that a deal wouldn't be too difficult to complete - only for the deal to completely stall over the past week. Of course, there are a number of factors; Vermaelen is currently in Brazil with Belgium for the World Cup, and he even sustained an injury during their game against Russia on Sunday.

Yet, according to reports today, the real reason for the delay is because Arsenal have now told United to double their bid for Vermaelen from £6m to £12m. Now the question has to be asked - is the 28-year-old worth that kind of money?

Vermaelen started his career in England in superb style, scoring regularly and becoming a rock in the heard of the Arsenal defence - but as time wore on, he became injury-prone, error-prone, and ultimately a shadow of the player that first arrived in North London, leading to the purchase of Mertesacker in 2011.

There are still lingering questions over Vermaelen's fitness - especially after suffering that injury at the World Cup - and whilst he seems a good fit for what van Gaal wants his defenders to do, paying £12m for a player who has barely played in the last 12 months and is too often injured would be a terrible move for the Red Devils.

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