Arsenal has accepted a bid of £15 million from Barcelona for Thomas Vermaelen. The outgoing Arsenal captain has been the subject of much transfer speculation after Arsene Wenger confirmed early last month that he was unlikely to remain at the club.
The agreement between Arsenal and Barcelona is however subject to Thomas Vermaelen passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.
Arsene Wenger had revealed on Thursday that several clubs had submitted bid for the Belgian defender who joined Arsenal from Ajax in the summer of 2009. It is thought that Manchester United were also interested in his signature, but Arsenal turned down what would have been a second captain joining the Old Trafford club in two years.
Thomas Vermaelen started on a good footing as an Arsenal defender when he arrived in 2009 possessing a penchant for popping up with goals from free kicks, from long range shots and corner kicks. He could dominate certain players in the air despite his relatively modicum height standing at just 6ft. He was particularly impressive in his Premier League debut against Everton at Goodison Park in August 2009, a match Arsenal won 6-1. His impressive form continued throughout his first season.
However, his fortunes began to dwindle after he was out for most of the following season following a misery injury that was later confirmed as a genetic issue, an overgrown tendon in his foot that was the issue. Corrective surgery was done on the other foot after the first misery injury that kept him out throughout his second season. He never quite regained his former pose and composure after that, and he became susceptible to the odd positional issues and mistakes.
His mistakes became one too much for Arsene Wenger to take after the debacle at Old Trafford where he gifted Robin Van Persie a goal in 2012 after only three minutes of play, and played and repeated the same mistake at the beginning of the second half, only that it never led to a goal.
The last straw was his display at White Hart Lane in February, 2013 where he was at fault for the two goals against Tottenham Hotspur, a display that meant he lost his place in the first team.
Last season, he was restricted to being a bit part player, making just 14 league appearances. And as his time at Arsenal comes to an end, the chapter of a non playing captain eventually comes to an end.