The Gunners captain has been on the Red Devils’ agenda for some time, with speculation suggesting that an £11m deal is close.
Arsene Wenger’s desire to get a replacement for the Belgian on board is understood to be the major sticking point, and now the delay has opened the door for Barca.
The Catalans have had an offer for PSG’s Marquinhos knocked back, and are now thought to be ready to move for Vermaelen as they plot to rebuild their backline after a disappointing 2013/14 campaign.
Barca can offer the classy enforcer Champions League football and would be able to match United’s salary offer, which could sway the Arsenal man.
Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen is also a target, but the player himself has ruled out a move away from White Hart Lane despite suggestions he’s unsettled.
The Camp Nou giants have already splashed that cash this summer to sign Luis Suarez, Jeremy Mathieu, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo and Ivan Rakitic, but it is reported that funds are in place for more deals.
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