Manchester United’s reported plans to sign Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen have come to a halt.
However, it may just be a temporary halt if United can work round the two main obstacles to a deal, which would allow the Belgian to settle into the United back four next season.
The first apparent problem comes in terms of the price, with the Daily Mail suggesting that United offered just £6 million for the player, half of what Arsenal reportedly want for their skipper.
Haggling over price is in United’s business interests but if the Gunners hold firm over their fee for the player then Louis van Gaal’s club have the resources to be able to fund a move.
The second problem with United’s plans to sign Vermaelen come with his current injury.
He was taken off after half an hour of the game between Russia and Belgium, with a knee problem he nursed through the warm up ahead of the game.
Few reports give detailed information on the extent of Vermaelen’s injury but if it turns out to be a recurring problem then United may not take a risk on him.
However, the counter to that is reported plans for United to go after Kevin Strootman of AS Roma.
Strootman picked up a bad knee injury last season, which ruled him out of the World Cup and if United sign him, he’s unlikely to feature in the Premier League until October meaning he’d miss a significant chunk of the season.
The player himself has played down the rumours linking him with an Arsenal exit, which is no surprise considering he’s away at an important tournament playing for a side tipped to lift the World Cup in Brazil.
However, as soon as Belgium are out of the tournament and Vermaelen flies back to London, don’t be at all surprised if the rumours and gossip surrounding his future intensify dramatically until there’s an official announcement from either United signing him or Arsenal, announcing that he’s staying.