Updated: Friday, 13th September 2019 @ 2:25pm

'He needs games': Manchester United on red alert as Wenger hints at Thomas Vermaelen exit

'He needs games': Manchester United on red alert as Wenger hints at Thomas Vermaelen exit

| By Rhys Stevens

Manchester United are stepping up their pursuit for Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen after longstanding Gunners boss Arsene Wenger hinted at the Belgian’s imminent exit.

There is ambiguity surrounding Vermaelen’s future after the defender has been linked with Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils all summer.

Wenger said that there have been approaches from delegates from Old Trafford and they have lodged a £15million bid for the Belgian international in the wake of Barcelona's £10million bid.

“Vermaelen could leave us because he needs to play now,” said Wenger, 64.

“We’re in a position where it’s difficult to stand in his way.”

Van Gaal will naturally be on the lookout for defensive reinforcements after the departure of veteran centre-back Rio Ferdinand to QPR.

Vermaelen moving to Barcelona would perhaps be more of an interest to Gunners, as they may be reluctant to sell a player to United who could challenge for the top four this season. 

“We would prefer to sell him abroad," said Wenger.

"That is an option and we have had a number of bidders from abroad.”

The 28-year-old was a member of the Belgian squad that reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil, however he made only 14 appearances in his club’s FA Cup winning season.

Speculation was also fuelled by the fact he did not attend training earlier today.

With the tempting option of playing at the Nou Camp on the table for Vermaelen and Arsenal’s reluctance to sell to a rival, Van Gaal and his Manchester United staff will have to be prepared to fight a hard battle to capture his signature.

Main image courtesy of Arsenal player via YouTube, with thanks.