Football: Wenger drops Vermaelen hint

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given his strongest indication yet that Thomas Vermaelen could leave to join Manchester United.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield with Manchester City at Wembley, Wenger admitted there had been interest in his captain but refused to reveal who had been in touch, although he did confirm United “could be in the group”.

Belgium international Vermaelen has been linked with a move to Old Trafford as manager Louis van Gaal looks to add experience to his squad, with Rio Ferdinand, Nemandja Vidic and Patrice Evra all having left United over the summer.

Arsene Wenger has hinted that Manchester United are amongst a group of bidders for Thomas Vermaelen.
Wenger refused to discuss the size of the bids received but confirmed the club have received a number of offers for the Belgian.

“Have we received bids? Yes. I can’t tell you who from but you will know very soon,” he said.

“Are Man United one of the teams to have made an offer? I think they could be in the group.”

When asked if Vermaelen could leave, Wenger said: “It could happen. I have said that since the start of pre-season,” 

“Vermaelen could leave us because he needs to play now. We’re in a position where it’s difficult to stand in his way if he finds an interesting opportunity.

“We have sat down with Thomas and talked about his future.”

Wenger reiterated that the club’s contingent of Germany players involved in their country’s World Cup success would miss the start of the season.

Arsene Wenger: Admits Vermaelen is likely to leave
Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski will all be given the chance to rest having featured in Brazil over the summer.

“They will be back on Monday. You can have the choice to bring them back quickly and then lose them again (injured) in October, or you give them much-needed rest to build them up again,” added Wenger.

But Wenger dismissed speculation he could make a bid for their compatriot, Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira.

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