By Danny Wright
Everton are interested in signing centre-back Thomas Vermaelen from Barcelona this summer in order to add more options to their defence, according to a report.
The Sun claims that West Brom and Anderlecht are also in the race for 31-year-old defender, who proved himself to be a capable performer in the Premier League in his previous spell at Arsenal.
It is understood that Ronald Koeman has been told that he can sound out a cut-price deal for the 61-times Belgium international and is now looking to add him to his squad before the end of the summer transfer window.
The report adds that Barcelona are willing to sell Vermaelen, despite him taking part in their pre-season preparations.
He has suffered numerous different injury problems in his three year stay in Spain, where he has only made a total of 21 appearances for Barcelona across all competitions.
The former Gunners enforcer was sent out on loan to Serie A giants Roma last season, but he again failed to earn a decent amount of first-team football as he featured just 12 times for the Italians.
Football Insider Verdict
Everton cannot replace injured players with more players who are susceptible to injury. Vermaelen has spent a lot of his career on the sidelines and there’s no suggestion that would be any different if he was to move back to the Premier League with either Everton or West Brom. The Toffees could do with someone else to bolster their backline, but they are simply barking up the wrong tree with Vermaelen. Michael Keane and Ashley Williams could be Koeman’s starting centre-backs this season with Phil Jagielka waiting in the wings. Ramiro Funes Mori is sidelined for a long time, but when he comes back Koeman will not want five centre-backs fighting for two first-team places. A loan move for an up-and-coming youngster might be a better and cheaper option.
In other Everton news, the Toffees are in a race with Tottenham and Manchester United for this Championship teenager.