So far, Arsenal haven’t had the best season defensively and there have been criticisms from all quarters of their back line as the team have crashed out of both domestic cup competitions early and now look likely to be the last British team knocked out of the Champions League. It could be cause for surprise then that The Sun are reporting Barcelona are interested in centre back Thomas Vermaelen.

With Carlos Puyol heading towards retirement the report says that Barca want a replacement sooner rather than later and Vermaelen fits the bill as a centre half willing to play it out from the back. He is clearly seen as a cheaper alternative to Mats Hummels at Dortmund, who the Sun suggest was first choice, while Barca are also said to be looking at Liverpool’s Daniel Agger.

Reports in The Independent yesterday suggested Wenger is ready for a rebuild, finally giving up on Vermaelen and Mertesacker at the back and wanting to sign the likes of Swansea’s Ashley Williams.

With reports of a fee in the region of £15 million being touted for Vermaelen, this could spell good news for Wenger, giving him more money to revitalise a defence which has been leaky this season.

It will be interesting to see how willing Arsenal are to let the Belgian international go to allow them to rebuild their defence for next season.

Would Vermaelen really be missed at The Emirates? Would you like to see him leave and be replaced by Ashley Williams? Thoughts welcome below.

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This article was first posted on March 7, 2013