Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is keen to make a move for Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley as part exchange for Thomas Vermaelen – who is likely to join the Red Devils, according to reports.
Vermaelen - who has one year left on his current Arsenal contract - is about to become the second Gunners' skipper to move to Old Trafford in two years. The Belgian international has agreed terms with United and will join Robin van Persie at Old Trafford as soon as the clubs can come to an agreement over the transfer fee.
The Mirror reports that Wenger is keen to bring Cleverley to the Emirates should Vermaelen complete a switch to United – as the Frenchman is an admirer of the former England midfielder.
Cleverley - who scored just a single goal in 22 league appearances for United last season - has been subjected to abuse from fans who called for his exclusion from the squad. The 24-year-old admitted that criticism from his own supporters had damaged his confidence – and he has struggled to regain the form he had under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Wenger is also monitoring United's Chris Smalling's situation as he looks to strengthen his defence by binging in young players who can serve the club for many years to come. The Frenchman is also a keen admirer of the player, who can play at both right-back and in the centre of defence, and has been following him before he joined United in 2011.
The Gunners view the player as a replacement for Bacary Sagna, who has recently agreed to join Manchester City on a three-year deal when his contract with Arsenal ends on 30 June, the club have confirmed.