Arsenal boss desperate not to sell star to Man United

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that he wants to sell Thomas Vermaelen to a foreign club rather than Manchester United.

The Belgian centre-back looks set to leave the Gunners in the coming weeks after falling down the pecking order.

Despite being the club’s captain, Vermaelen is unlikely to edge out either Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscienly to be a starter, and has indicated that his time at the Emirates Stadium is up by rejecting a new contract offer.

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United are thought to be the most interested party, with talk of a £15m offer for the defender from Old Trafford doing the rounds.

Barcelona are also said to be interested, but it remains unclear as to whether they will be able to match such a sum after spending in excess of £100m this window.

But Wenger says that he wants that bid to be from a club abroad:

“Manchester United are part of the group (of bidders). He could leave.” He is quoted by Goal.

“We have offers from abroad and ideally I would rather sell him to a club abroad.”

But the Frenchman went on to confirm that with 12 months running on his contract, Arsenal may be powerless to reject a good offer from anywhere for Vermaelen:

“We’re in a position where it’s difficult to stand in his way.”