|Thomas Vermaelen close to joining AS Roma|
FC Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen will join Italian giants AS Roma on loan this summer according to recent reports in both Spain and Italy.
Following the arrival of French youngster Samuel Umtiti from Lyon and the renewal of Javier Mascherano, one of Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu was certain to leave the Camp Nou and it now looks like it will be the Belgian star who will be heading through the exit door as his transfer to AS Roma is 99% done.
Reliable Italian transfer specialist Di Marzio backed up by Barcelona based publication Mundo Deportivo report that Thomas Vermaelen will join AS Roma on loan with the Italian club to pay €2 million for the loan transfer and they will have an option to buy the player next summer for €10 million.
According to both publications, Vermaelen’s transfer to AS Roma has been agreed upon by all parties and although the star was part of the squad that lost 4-0 to Liverpool, he will fly to Italy tomorrow (Sunday) to have his medical before officially putting pen to paper and continue his career in Rome.
It was clear that Vermaelen won’t be part of Luis Enrique’s plans for the upcoming season and it means the coach will have four central defenders in Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Samuel Umtiti and Jeremy Mathieu for the season following the sale of Marc Bartra to Borussia Dortmund.
Vermaelen, who will turn 31 in November, joined FC Barcelona in 2014 for £15 million on a five year contract. The tough tackler, however, didn’t have a good time in Catalunya as he had limited chances to prove himself as he was plagued with injuries including a spell that saw him out for almost 6 months, dragging him back. He managed to feature in 11 league games for Barça during his stay and helped them win back to back Liga titles.
In total, Vermaelen won 7 titles in his two seasons with Barça and with four defenders ahead of him in the pecking order, it is the best decision for him and the club that he leaves to get some more minutes elsewhere. Still, nothing has been made official yet.