Straight away at the start of the report, LvG is branded an ‘intruder’ by the newspaper, as the Dutchman is thought to still be keen on bringing the Belgian to Old Trafford ahead of the new season.
Various reports have suggested that van Gaal feels Vermaelen has the right blend of consistency and experience to play in the heart of a three man backline over the coming season.
The paper than goes onto call van Gaal an obstacle to something which has been described as ‘Operation Vermaelen’
“Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal has become the major obstacle to Operation Vermaelen – The club have already finalised an offer of €12 million for the Belgian but United are working hard to strengthen their defence with Vermaelen fitting the profile of what van Gaal is looking for,” reports Sport.
Further reports this morning have suggested that Vermaelen would prefer a move to United.
The obvious reason behind that could be that it represents the chance for him to stay in the Premier League and prove his critics wrong, as he struggled for regular football at Arsenal last season.
The downside of that from a Manchester United point of view is that they’ll likely have to pay a higher fee because Arsenal would be selling to a direct rival and would hence want a higher price.
Barcelona is a very difficult club for any player to turn down but van Gaal is a very experienced coach in terms of modern day club transfers and he’ll know how to go about making it as difficult as possible for Barca to get their man.
If he wants Vermaelen and the Belgian wants to stay in England then it could be a matter of time before he’s a United player.