Roma keen to lure Thomas Vermaelen from Barcelona

FC Barcelona

Italian side Roma have reportedly asked Barcelona about the Belgian's availability.

Having put his injury problems last season behind him, Thomas Vermaelen will undoubtedly be looking forward to plenty of games during the 2015-16 campaign, although his return to regular action might not be with Barcelona.

According to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, there is strong interest from AS Roma, who reportedly made an approach for the Belgian defender, whilst visiting Barcelona for the Joan Gamper Trophy match.

The report claims that during the customary pre-match meal, Roma directors made a verbal enquiry regarding the availability of Vermaelen, to their Barcelona counterparts, hopeful that an agreement could be reached.

Roma are said to have proposed an initial loan deal for the 29-year-old, whilst also seeking an option to make the move permanent, with the Italian club keen to strengthen their defensive options.

Being left-footed, it is suggested that Vermaelen is regarded as an ideal target for Roma, given that if he were to join, he could operate either as a centre-back or a left-back.

How willing Barcelona will be to selling the former Arsenal skipper, remains to be seen, as letting Vermaelen go would potentially leave them short of options themselves at the back.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has already put the brakes on Brazilian left-back Adriano leaving, after Roma were tipped as favourites for his signature, so could do the same if he considers Vermaelen as an important part of the squad for this coming season.

Injured during the 2014 World Cup with Belgium, the hamstring problem suffered turned out to be far worse than anticipated, after Vermaelen moved from Arsenal to Barcelona last summer.

Following intensive treatment without success, surgery was eventually required to resolve the problem, but further fitness setbacks prevented Vermaelen from making any meaningful contribution, as Barcelona stormed to the treble.

It wasn't until the final La Liga game of the 2014-15 season, a 2-2 draw against Deportivo La Coruña at the Camp Nou, that Vermaelen eventually made his competitive Blaugrana début.

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