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Villa must beat Arsenal for Ajax defender Vermaelen

Aston Villa face competition from Arsenal for Ajax defender Thomas Vermaelen.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill has to bring in a new centre half after Martin Laursen was forced into retirement.

Vermaelen, 23, who has won 13 caps for Belgium, was on target for Ajax when they lost 2-1 at Villa Park in the UEFA Cup earlier this season. But he has also attracted interest from the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

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