Vermaelen ready to fight for Arsenal place

Thomas Vermaelen does not want to quit Arsenal despite falling out of favour under Arsene Wenger, the Daily Mail has reported, and with Barcelona said to be considering a move for the Belgium international.

Wenger has in recent weeks preferred to team Per Mertesacker with Laurent Koscielny, and while Vermaelen played in place of the suspended Mertesacker against Norwich City on Saturday, the German was available for the mid-week fixture against Everton and Vermaelen returned to the bench.

It is expected that Wenger will overhaul his squad this summer as the Gunners have failed to mount a title challenge this season and their place in the Premier League’s top four remains in doubt, with the possibility that Vermaelen could be one of those sold on to make space for new recruits.

Vermaelen has a long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium – not due to expire until 2016 – and is not interested in leaving the club, the newspaper claims. But after a drop in form this season, he could be forced out by Wenger, having moved to Arsenal from Ajax in 2009.

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