Manchester United are reportedly ready to up their initial offer for Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen.
The Belgian centre-back has emerged as a possible player to come into United’s back four ahead of next season following the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
United have already seen an offer of £6 million knocked back, with Arsenal reportedly holding out for double that amount and Goal.com claiming United will go back with an improved £10 million offer.
“The Old Trafford side are now hoping to convince Arsenal to part ways with Vermaelen with an improved offer closer to £10m, but are reluctant to negotiate further for the defender,” reports Goal.
Vermaelen recently admitted that he doesn’t know what his future holds ahead of next season, which suggests he is open to the idea of moving to Old Trafford.
However, there could be a simple reason which has held back negotiations to this point and that’s Arsene Wenger wanting a replacement.
At the moment, should Arsenal let Vermaelen join United, Wenger will be pushed in terms of the defensive reserves he has available with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny his key centre-back pairing ahead of the new season.
Therefore, until Wenger gets an extra body in, the Gunners could play hard ball over the price to give themselves extra time to go and find a player to come in and fill the void created by Vermaelen’s departure.
It won’t be easy considering Wenger likes players who have plenty of top flight domestic experience, although there are some younger players who could be drafted in.
A fee of £10 million is not a bad halfway point for the two clubs to meet at but it’s a deal, which is unlikely to happen quickly.