Barcelona director was in London yesterday discussing Vermaelen deal

Thomas Vermaelen Pre FA Cup Press Conference

Reports suggest that Raul Sanllehi was in London yesterday to try and tie down a deal for Arsenal club captain Thomas Vermaelen.

The future of Thomas Vermaelen has been well discussed today, with the Belgian international clearly looking like being on his way this summer.

In today's press conference Arsene Wenger confirmed that Vermaelen was likely to leave Arsenal in the coming weeks. The manager stated:

"Yes… I can't tell you [who they are from], but you will know very soon. I've said since the start of pre-season that Thomas could leave us because he needs to play now. He had an outstanding attitude and behaviour but he's in a position where it's difficult to stand in his way if he finds an interesting opportunity. Ideally yes [I would rather sell Vermaelen abroad]. It is an option. I don’t want to tell you [which clubs are interested] but we have offers from abroad as well."

The two teams keen on signing the player are Manchester United and Barcelona - with Napoli also being mentioned in some circles. Last night it was reported that United were Vermaelen's first choice - but obviously Arsenal would rather send him abroad.

Meaning Barcelona need to start showing some concrete interest. Which, apparently, they are. It was reported earlier in the week that they were considering a bid for the player - believed to be in the region of £10 million.

Now it is reported by Mundo Deportivo, who are usually well informed on all things Barca, that Raul Sanllehi, director of marketing at the Nou Camp, has flown to London for talks with Arsenal yesterday.

Arsenal will have to take a cheaper price for Vermaelen to sell him to the Catalan side but it would certainly make more sense regarding their assault on the Premier League this season.

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