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Vermaelen 'agrees to United switch'

ESPN staff
June 16, 2014
Thomas Vermaelen has only one year left on his Arsenal contract © Getty Images

Thomas Vermaelen has reportedly agreed a deal in principle to join Manchester United this summer.

Arsenal are yet to accept a bid from their Premier League rivals for the defender or settle on a fee, according to the Daily Telegraph. However, it is claimed he has been offered a £30,000-a-week pay rise to move to Old Trafford and, with only one year left on his contract at the Emirates, wants his future settled quickly.

Vermaelen has fallen out of favour with manager Arsene Wenger, who has placed his faith in Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker at the heart of his back four.

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The 28-year-old, who has been at Arsenal for five years after signing from Dutch club Ajax, was initially considered the defensive foundation on which Wenger's team was built but he has struggled with injuries since.

Vermaelen reportedly believes that he can rediscover his best form under new United manager Louis van Gaal as well as improve his £70,000-a-week wages.

Manchester City have shown Arsenal to be vulnerable in the transfer market in recent years, signing Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure from them.

Several of the players Arsenal sold to City have gone for large fees when their contracts were running down, as Vermaelen's is. The same criteria applied when Robin van Persie - who shares an agent with the defender - was signed from Wenger's side by United two years ago.

However, rivalry among the Premier League's top clubs is intense and players have seldom switched between them historically. Arsenal have also sounded more bullish about their transfer window prospects this summer and may be reticent to sell to United unless they recoup a large proportion of the £10 million they paid for the Belgium player.

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