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West Ham boss Allardyce admits he'd love to sign Arsenal defender Vermaelen

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By James McLean

Monday 20 January 2014

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has admitted that he would love to bring Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen across to east London, according to The Independent.

Thomas Vermaelen

Allardyce had hoped to sign Man City defender Joleon Lescott during the current transfer window, but as that move now looks to be on hold until City are able to sign a stand-in it would appear that the former Newcastle manager has turned his attention elsewhere – with equally high ambition.

Vermaelen has been a popular figure at Arsenal since joining in 2009, but with Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny presently the preferred central defensive choices the Belgian could well seek a move away to secure some first team football, especially with the World Cup in Brazil fast approaching.

While keen on the defender, Allardyce admits that it could be a struggle to convince the player to swap the Emirates for Upton Park even on a loan basis, with Vermaelen’s pedigree coupled with the prospect of a title push taking on a relegation scrap meaning a deal could be difficult to pull off.

The Hammers boss said: “I think under the circumstances at Arsenal, in the position that they’re in, in the Champions League and cup matches, they’ve had to use him as soon as any of the two defenders have been injured," he said.

“So I don’t think there’s any chance we’ll get somebody of his quality. It would be nice if we could.

“I’ve had targets and I haven’t got one yet apart from Roger Johnson, so I’ll keep going and hope we get some.”

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