West Ham table bid for Barcelona ace, player has £63m release clause - report
By Dominic Toner
West Ham have lodged a bid for former Premier League defender Thomas Vermaelen, according to a report.
The Belgian has been on the periphery at Barcelona since he joined two years ago, making only 11 La Liga appearances in his two years at the club.
Spanish publication Sport report that West Ham have submitted a significant bid for Vermaelen and have joined Inter Milan, Roma and Arsenal in pursuit of the defender.
They go on to add that a deal has not yet been closed as the player could be interested in linking up with former manager Arsene Wenger.
A reunion with Arsenal would be a strong possibility for Vermaelen as he made 110 Premier League appearances for them during his time at the Emirates, and was also made club captain during that time.
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Barcelona are believed to want £12million for the defender, and have rejected bids of just under £7million from Inter and Roma.
Sport report that Vermaelen has a £63million release clause in the five-year contract that he signed following his £14million move from Arsenal two years ago.
The Spanish giants look very likely to move Vermaelen on this summer having already recruited defenders Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne in this window, pushing him further down the pecking order.
Despite struggling to make an impression on the first-team due to regulars Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu ahead of him, he has been extremely unlucky with injury during his stay at the Nou Camp.
West Ham manager has been busy already this summer and has recruited in Gokhan Tore, Sofiane Feghouli, Toni Martinez, Havard Nordtveit, Domingos Quina and most recently forward Ashley Fletcher from Manchester United.
In other West Ham news, they have lined up a goal-a-game striker who is priced at £80million by club.