By William Joyce
Manchester United remain confident of completing a deal to sign Thomas Vermaelen this summer, despite interest from Barcelona.
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Vermaelen is understood to be keen to leave Arsenal this summer, but Arsene Wenger wants to sign a replacement for the defender before they sanction his sale.
And Barca could yet complicate the deal after rekindling their long-standing interest in the former Ajax man, who has 12 months remaining on his current Arsenal contract.
The Catalan club recently completed the €20m [£15.8m] signing of Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia, but are looking to bring in another defender this summer.
New United manager Louis van Gaal identified Vermaelen as a summer transfer target long before arriving at Old Trafford in July, and is eager for the club to push through a deal to sign the Belgium international.
Gunners boss Wenger has admitted Vermaelen, who has found himself behind first choice centre-back pairing Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny at Arsenal, could leave this summer.
"I cannot guarantee [that he will stay],” Wenger told reporters during pre-season. “But, should he go, I would bring another centre-back in for sure.”