West Ham and Liverpool told decision of Barcelona ace after registering interest - report
By Will Butcher
West Ham appear to have lost out on another transfer target after Italian giants Inter Milan and Roma lodged bids for former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, according to a report.
Liverpool were also interested in the Barcelona defender, who has had a torrid time with a never-ending flow of injuries at the Nou Camp, making only 11 La Liga appearances in his two years at the club.
Now, Spanish newspaper Sport claim that his time with Barca is over, but the Belgian’s new destination won’t involve relocating in England.
Inter and Roma have both tabled bids, believed to be of around £6.7 million for the 30-year-old, and are willing to go head-to-head to sign the injury-prone centre-back.
They have yet to meet Barcelona’s £8.4million asking but are confident Vermaelen wants to move to Serie A.
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With the signing of Samuel Umtiti from Lyon, Luis Enrique now has five centre-backs at his disposal along with Gerard Pique, Jeremy Mathieu and Javier Mascherano.
Vermaelen is seen as surplus to requirements and Enrique has decided to let him leave for first-team action elsewhere.
The Hammers and Liverpool are in need of centre-backs as West Ham academy graduate James Tomkins is close to sealing a deal with Crystal Palace, while Liverpool have allowed Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure to leave.
In other West Ham news, manager Slaven Bilic is bracing himself for a bid from Arsenal for this player.