Arsenal ‘closing in’ on €15m move for Belgian star in transfer blow to Barcelona
Arsenal could tie up the deal in January.
Arsenal are ‘closing in’ on a €15m move for young Belgian star Arthur Vermeeren in a transfer blow to Barcelona, according to reports.
It is thought that the Gunners could wrap up the deal in the upcoming January transfer window, with La Liga side Barcelona set to miss out on the player they had identified as a key target.
Vermeeren has spent his entire career at Belgian side Royal Antwerp, where he came through the club’s academy and has made 53 senior appearances to date.
The youngster recently earned his first cap for the Belgium national team and is seen as a player with a very bright future.
Vermeeren is said to be a cross between a traditional holding midfielder and a box-to-box midfielder.
Former Arsenal star Marc Overmars, who is Royal Antwerp’s director of football, has previously compared Vermeeren to Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
‘I do not have doubts that Vermeeren can play [for] Barca,’ Overmars told FCBN in September. ‘Like Xavi and Iniesta… Vermeeren [has] the same profile.’
Ex-Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld, team-mates with Vermeeren at Royal Antwerp, is also a big fan of the teenager.
‘He arrived in the team by force of circumstance, but since then he has learned very quickly,’ Alderweireld said via The Sun. ‘He reads the game very well, his potential is enormous. Have I seen this before? Rarely, I think.’