Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey wants Thomas Vermaelen to stay

Thomas Vermaelen Pre FA Cup Press Conference

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey is holding out hope that the Thomas Vermaelen will stay at the Emirates, despite increasing interest from Manchester United.

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey says Thomas Vermaelen’s potential departure would be a big loss for the club, following Arsene Wenger’s confirmation that Manchester United are one of a number of teams after the defender.

Signed from Ajax in 2009, the 28-year-old was an integral part of the side during his first four seasons with the Gunners but found himself kept out the lineup in 2013-14, as Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker continued to partner each other at centre-back.

Restricted to just 14 league appearances, the club captain now looks to be heading for the exit door this summer, with Barcelona also trying to work on a deal, but Ramsey has revealed he’d be disappointed to see his long-time teammate leave.

‘He’s a fantastic player and a really good friend of mine as well so obviously, if it does happen, it would be a big loss for us,’ he told reporters.

‘But he’s been a bit frustrated over the last year, especially where he hasn’t had the minutes he’s wanted, so you can probably understand his frustrations.’

With Napoli another club understood to be courting Vermaelen’s services, Barca representatives reportedly flew to London yesterday in an attempt to speed up a potential deal, with a £10 million bid said to have been tabled.

However, Old Trafford is the Belgian international’s preferred destination according to various reports and, with Louis van Gaal prepared to offer up to £15 million, Wenger’s latest revelations suggest rivals United are indeed the favourites to land his signature.

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