Official: Barcelona sign Vermaelen from Arsenal
By Ben Hayward
Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has completed a €19 million move to Barcelona, the Catalan club confirmed on Saturday.
The centre-back agreed to join Luis Enrique's side late last week after rejecting the overtures of Manchester United in favour of a summer switch to Camp Nou. The Belgium international flew in to Barcelona on Saturday morning for his medical ahead of the transfer, which will cost the Catalans an initial €15m and an additional €4m in extras.
"FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of the Belgian player, who will sign for the next five seasons," the club revealed on their website.
Arsenal also confirmed the deal on their official site, releasing a statement which read: "Thomas Vermaelen has agreed to join Barcelona in a permanent transfer for an undisclosed fee.
"Vermaelen passed his medical in Barcelona on Saturday. His transfer is subject to the completion of the normal regulatory process. Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Thomas for his contribution during his time at the club and wish him well for the future."
The 28-year-old has been blighted by injuries over the last few seasons and was given a thorough, two-part examination by Barca at the Hospital de Barcelona and later at the Clinica de la Creu Blanca on Saturday morning.
However, the former Ajax player came through the tests without any problems and is the second centre-back to join the Catalan club this summer, after Jeremy Mathieu arrived from Valencia in a €20m deal last month.
The defender, who becomes the third Arsenal captain to join Barca in seven years (after Thierry Henry in 2007 and Cesc Fabregas in 2011), will be unveiled at Camp Nou on Sunday.