By Guy Giles
Everton are set to miss out on signing Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen, with Inter Milan now the favourites to win the race for the Belgian defender, according to a report.
Italian outlet TMW report that Inter are closing in on a January loan deal for the former Arsenal man, who is looking for a way out of his Barcelona nightmare.
Vermaelen, 31, has only made one appearance this season for Barca after returning from a somewhat successful loan spell at Roma, and is worried that a lack of opportunities at the Catalan giants will see him lose out on a World Cup spot for Belgium.
Inter coach Luciano Spalletti worked with Vermaelen at Roma last year and is keen for a reunion, so it looks like Everton will have to look elsewhere to solve their defensive problems.
Football Insider verdict:
Vermaelen was one of the Premier League’s best centre backs during his time at Arsenal, but his move to Barcelona has been ill-fated and the Belgian has only made 22 appearances in three years at the club. Injuries have blighted Vermaelen for a while now but he looks to have overcome these problems as he tries to force a move away from the Nou Camp. Everton’s defensive problems this season are well-known, and a fit Vermaelen would be an asset to their struggling defence. However, his successful spell at Roma under Spalletti means that a move to Inter does seem most likely, especially considering Everton’s struggles so far this season.
In other Everton news, this young star has spoken out in defence of under-fire caretaker manager David Unsworth.