9 August 2014 19:36
Barcelona have completed the signing of Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen for an undisclosed fee.
The Belgium international was a reported target for Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Manchester United, but has now agreed a five-year-deal at Camp Nou.
Arsene Wenger confirmed Vermaelen was headed for the Arsenal exit door earlier this week, and Barcelona announced the transfer on Saturday in a statement on their official website.
It read: “FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Belgian player Thomas Vermaelen.
“The player will sign [a] contract [at] Barca for the next five seasons.”
Despite possessing the captain’s armband at the Emirates Stadium, Vermaelen fell out of favour due to injury and lack of form last term, making just seven top-flight starts for Wenger’s men.
The 28-year-old arrived in England from Ajax in 2009 for a reported fee of £10million, and went on to make 150 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s men in all competitions, scoring 15 goals.
He ended his Arsenal career on a winning note, lifting the FA Cup in May following a 3-2 victory over Hull City.
An Arsenal statement read: “Vermaelen passed his medical in Barcelona on Saturday. His transfer is subject to the completion of the normal regulatory process.
“Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Thomas for his contribution during his time at the club and wish him well for the future.”
Vermaelen, who is set to be presented by his new club on Sunday, becomes Barca’s second significant defensive recruit of the close-season, after the club parted company with €20million to sign Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia.