Argentine superstar Lionel Messi could help speed up Manchester United’s proposed £10 million signing of Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen.
The 28-year-old has been linked with a move to Manchester United for some time and recent reports hint that a deal might not be too far away.
According to a report in The Mirror, United are poised to capture the defender as soon as his nation are knocked out of the World Cup.
In the first of two games on Saturday, Vermaelen’s Belgium take on Argentina for a place in the semi-final and with the form of Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, the Arsenal centre-back could be back in London as early as Monday and ready to move.
The Red Devils are on the lookout for a new central defender this summer to replace the departed Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and new boss Van Gaal is a big fan of Arsenal’s Belgian star.
The former Ajax star joined The Gunners in the summer of 2009 for an initial €10 million fee, and he has gone on to make 150 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Following the arrival of Per Mertesacker and his consequent successful partnership with French international Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates and made just 14 Premier League appearances last season.
He has been said to be seeking a new challenge ahead of next season, and a move to Manchester United to work under Louis Van Gaal is arguably an offer too good to turn down.
With a £10 million deal mooted in the press as the reported fee, should Thomas Vermaelen move to United ahead of next season it would bring Van Gaal’s summer spending up to circa £68 million following the deals for Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw.