Thomas Vermaelen seems to be the problem that will never go away for Barcelona. Even when the former Arsenal captain was on loan at AS Roma last season, that he was struggling for fitness was a continual worry for Barcelona.
Roma didn’t decide to sign the Belgian defender, and now he’s back at Barcelona. Several Spanish reports on Thursday and Friday have linked Barcelona with a move for Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez, but they’d like to see a defender go first.
Vermaelen is the obvious candidate, for obvious reasons, but Catalan newspaper Sport have also shared another transfer motivation for Barcelona. There’s concern Arsenal could be due another hefty bonus if Vermaelen stays.
Sport say Vermaelen moved from Arsenal to Barcelona on a deal worth an initial €10m. A further €5m was then paid in easy to achieve bonuses, but there’s another payment to Arsenal potentially outstanding.
Written into the transfer contract was a bonus for Arsenal should Barcelona win the Champions League twice in five years. Barcelona won it in 2014-2015, and because it wasn’t stipulated that Vermaelen had to play a part, that counts.
Therefore, if Vermaelen remains and Barcelona win the Champions League, Arsenal will be due their next bonus… a rather hefty €3.5m