The 28-year-old has just seven Premier League appearances to his name this term – despite being the Gunners’ captain – and is rumoured to be growing frustrated with life at the club.
The impressive form of Laurent Koscienly and Per Mertesacker has seen the Belgian sidelined on numerous occasions, and it looks unlikely that he will be able to force his way back into Arsene Wenger’s first choice XI anytime soon.
With the Russian transfer window still open, Zenit are free to pursue a quick deal for the experienced defender.
They are keen to tie up a move in the coming weeks, and are ready to use Vermaelen’s desire to make the World up to their advantage.
The silky centre-half is desperate to represent his nation in Brazil, but knows that he must be playing regularly with competition fierce.
Although the Russian top tier is s step down in terms of quality and reputation, playing week in week out may be enough to guarantee his spot for the summer.