Vermaelen unwilling to sign new Arsenal deal

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has moved closer to leaving the club after refusing to open talks over the possibility of extending his contract, according to the Daily Mail.

The Belgian has been continually linked with a move elsewhere this summer, with Premier League rivals Manchester United an interested party as well as Barcelona and Napoli. Despite that, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has remained hopeful that the club can convince Vermaelen to stay.

This is despite his lack of opportunities in the first-team. Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are now the established centre-back pairing at the North London club, and Vermaelen has grown frustrated at his lack of regular football.

Vermaelen now has just one year remaining on his current deal, and Man Utd had a £7m enquiry turned down by Arsenal earlier in the summer. However, after seeing contract talks break down, they may decide to sell rather than see the player leave for nothing at the end of next season, as they did in May when Bacary Sagna left for Manchester City.

The 28-year-old moved to Arsenal in the summer of 2009 and immediately made an impression, but has fallen out of favour since Koscielny and Mertesacker were paired together in early 2013. He has made 150 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 15 goals.

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