AS Roma manager Luciano Spalletti has confirmed Serie A side are considering the signing of Thomas Vermaelen from Barcelona amid reports in Italy claiming the deal between the clubs is well advanced. The Belgium international has been linked with Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham in recent weeks but it looks he will finally be moving to the Italian side.
Vermaelen moved to Nou Camp only two summers ago after Barcelona agreed to pay Arsenal around €19m to secure his services. However, the 30-year-old has struggled to secure regular time under Luis Enrique, due to a series of injuries and his future at the club has come under huge scrutiny following the summer arrival of Samuel Umtiti from Lyon.
Reports in Spain claim Barcelona were ready to let Vermaelen go this summer to recoup a part of the money they paid to Arsenal to secure his services as they also have Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu as centre-backs.
Earlier in April, Sport reported that Liverpool tried to take advantage of the situation to lure him back to the Premier League with a €10m offer. Barcelona, however, turned down the bid because they were expecting at least €12m to part ways with the player.
Last month Sport divulged a new bid from Roma but Barcelona once again deemed it insufficient, with reports claiming they were expecting a better bid from West Ham while the player dreamt about a potential return to Arsenal.
One way or another AS claimed earlier this week that Vermaelen's future was going to be resolved in the coming days. The Spanish publication reported that the Belgium had two offers in the table: one from Roma and a further one from a Premier League club, understood to be from Liverpool.
And it looks that the decision has been made as several reports in Italy, including Corrierre Dello Sport, are claiming the player is expected to join the Serie A side in a loan deal worth €2m – with an option to make the move permanent at the end of the season for €10m.
Spalletti has said little to diminish the speculation, admitting that the Serie A side are seriously considering his signing.
"Vermaelen is a player that we are following," Spalleti said. "We have to assess the risk of (his signing) because in the last two years he has played little. But it is a piece of art that we have been offered and it it's an opportunity that we can exploit."
Roma completed a similar deal with Tottenham for Federico Fazio earlier this week. However, they are still in the market for another centre-back after in June Antonio Rudiger ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament.