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Football: Arsenal captain Vermaelen agrees Barcelona move

Published on Aug 10, 2014 7:52 AM
Belgium soccer player Thomas Vermaelen poses next to a logo at his arrival at FC Barcelona's offices in Barcelona, on Aug 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

LONDON (AFP) - Barcelona finally won the race to sign Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen on Saturday.

The Spanish club had been battling with Manchester United for the Belgium international's signature over the last few weeks and Luis Enrique's team got their man for a reported fee of £15 million ($25 million).

United had initially been the front-runners to sign Vermaelen, who was said to be keen to stay in the Premier League and was uncertain if he would start regularly at the Camp Nou.

But United manager Louis van Gaal ended his interest when Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who preferred to sell the former Ajax star to a foreign club rather than a direct rival, asked for England defender Chris Smalling to be included as part of the transfer.

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