Manchester United are lining up a shock swoop for Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen. Having raided the Gunners 12 months ago for Vermaelen's predecessor Robin van Persie, United are now eyeing the Belgian.

The Mirror says unlike last year, when they reluctantly allowed Robin van Persie to move to their rivals from Old Trafford, Arsenal would be willing sellers this time.

Barcelona are also keeping tabs on the situation.

Vermaelen is understood to be keen to stay and fight for his place at Arsenal, even though he is no longer a guaranteed starter.