Vermaelen emerges as Everton target

Everton are targeting a move for Barcelona central defender Thomas Vermaelen and are likely to make a bid for the Belgian in the summer, according to the Metro.

The former Arsenal star is yet to make his first appearance for Barcelona since leaving North London for the Nou Camp in July 2014 for £15m. He has been beset by a succession of injuries to his hamstring, and it has been suggested that the Spanish giants could decide to cut their losses.

Having struggled defensively this season, a problem which has made a significant contribution towards their current position of 12th in the Premier League, Everton are keen to bolster their options at the back and may be seeing Vermaelen as a possible replacement for veteran centre-back Sylvain Distin.

A fee for Vermaelen has not been mooted, but Barcelona are aware that recouping the £15m spent for the 29-year-old would be highly unlikely given his injury problems.

Vermaelen spent five years at Arsenal from 2009, but gradually fell out of favour in the final two years of his stay despite being made club captain in August 2012.

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