The London Evening Standard says Arsenal are reluctant to allow Vermaelen to move to Old Trafford and will only agree a deal with their Premier League rivals as a last resort.
The 28-year-old is keen to leave in search of regular first-team football after being restricted to just seven Premier League starts last season as Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny established themselves as manager Arsene Wenger’s preferred centre-back pairing.
Club captain Vermaelen has one year left on his contract and although Wenger has indicated a willingness to negotiate an extension, the Belgium international has become disillusioned over his lack of opportunities to play.
Vermaelen is open to a move to United but Arsenal would prefer to sell abroad and avoid selling their captain to Old Trafford for the second time in three years.
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