West Ham ready to launch move for Barcelona ace, release clause is £63m - report
By Harvey Byrne
West Ham are targeting a summer swoop for defender Thomas Vermaelen from Spanish giants Barcelona, according to reports.
The Daily Mirror claim the Hammers are keen to bring the former Arsenal defender back to London amid interest from English rivals Liverpool.
The 30-year-old centre back is said to be allowed to leave Camp Nou after another injury-laden season.
The Belgium international has struggled since joining Barcelona in 2014, making only 11 league appearances in his two years at the club.
As reported by Football Insider, Spanish newspaper Sport have reported that that Vermaelen has a £63million release clause in the five -ear contract he signed after leaving the Gunners two years ago.
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However, that figure is effectively meaningless as the Belgian has only been a bit-part player at Camp Nou and is regarded as surplus to requirements by his employer.
Vermaelen made 20 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona in 2015-16, only 10 of which were in the Spanish league.
Vermaelen may favour a move to the Hammers with the offer of European football on the table for next season and he may also be looking to move back to London instead of Merseyside.
In other West Ham news, they are ready to fill problem position with two signings.