Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Barca eye Vermaelen: Arsenal man one of three Prem stars on their hit-list

New Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova will turn his attentions to raiding the Premier League if he fails to land Athletic Bilbao defender Javi Martinez.

 The Spanish giants have Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen, Chelsea's David Luiz, who they were linked with earliert this summer, and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany and on their hit-list if they fail to get Martinez.

 Barca want to sign one top-quality defender this summer, and so far Martinez - who can operate in central defence or midfield - is proving to be too expensive.

 The news will cause despair among Arsenal fans, who are already dreading the sale of captain Robin van Persie this summer.

 Meanwhile, Vermaelen's clubmate Carlos Vela is desperate to join Real Sociedad permanently - but claims the Gunners are driving a hard bargain. 

 The Mexican forward, 23, spent last season on loan at Real Sociedad and would like to join them, but Arsenal are playing hardball over a fee.

 Vela's agent, Eduardo Hernandez, said: "He is very happy at Sociedad, he wants to stay there, but Arsenal are a complicated club to deal with."


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