Thomas Vermaelen has left Arsenal, joining FC Barcelona on a five-year deal for a fee believed to be in the region of £15 million.
The Belgian defender had made it clear to Arsenal this summer that he wished to depart The Emirates, after losing his place in the first team to the combination of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. Arsene Wenger recently admitted he would stand in the player's way - despite Vermaelen not demanding a transfer and being happy to stay at Arsenal should The Gunners wish.
Manchester United were also keen, but Arsenal reportedly wanted Chris Smalling thrown into the deal - which was swiftly denied by their Premier League rivals.
And now, as you can see by the attacked picture, Vermaelen is now officially a Barcelona player. A statement on the official Barca website states:
"FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Belgian player Thomas Vermaelen. He joins the Catalans on a five-year deal...Thomas Vermaelen is a natural leader who has already captained both Ajax and Arsenal despite being a relative youngster. He plays at centre back, and as well as having an impressive physique he is excellent with the ball at his feet and reads the game well."
Vermaelen flew into Barcelona this morning where the club conducted a stringent medical test on the player, considering the players recently sketchy record with injuries.
But he came through with flying colours and is now a Barcelona player - and most Arsenal fans are wishing their former club captain well in his new adventure.