La Liga transfer latest: Arsenal defender 'close to Barcelona' move

All the latest summer transfer news from La Liga...

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has found himself pushed behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the Gunners' pecking order, and a subsequent move away from North London has been mooted this summer. Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal had been hoping to bring the former Ajax man to Old Trafford, but that now looks unlikely with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger unwilling to sell to a rival.

That has left Barcelona in the clear to snap up the Belgian, and reports in both England and Spain suggest that a €12.5m deal to take the 28-year-old to Catalunya is close, with Barcelona still looking to improve their defence despite the arrival of Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira continues to be linked with a move away from the club after the arrival of his compatriot and international team mate Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich. The 27-year-old is a reported target for Arsenal, but media reports in Spain speculate that Madrid have yet to have a bid for the German.

The same reports, from Cadena SER, state that Real are dead set against letting the former Stuttgart midfielder leave on a free transfer next summer when his contract expires - which will mean Khedira either has to extend his current contract or be sold on this summer; which could be perfect for Arsenal.

Finally, Villarreal have already added Barcelona's Jonathan dos Santos this summer, but with defender Mateo Musacchio set for a £17m move to Spurs in the coming days, manager Marcelino could have some money to spend on improving the rest of his team.

Racing Club de Avellaneda striker Luciano Vietto, who had previously linked with Liverpool, has been confirmed as a Villarreal player after signing a five-year deal.

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