If anyone sees Thomas Vermaelen’s exit from Arsenal as a shock this summer, you’d have to wonder whether they paid any attention to the Premier League at all last season.
The Belgian captain became frozen out of the Gunners’ backline last term, as Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny forged a sturdy partnership.
This summer, in order to find more regular playing time, the Belgian centre-back is likely to flee his north-London nest with Barcelona or Manchester United the likely destinations.
His departure could come sooner rather than later though, as the Spanish giants are thought to have lodged a ï¿½10m bid for Arsenal’s club captain.
With their first Premier League match of the season a little over two weeks away, at home to Crystal Palace which they are 2/7 to win, Arsene Wenger needs to fill Vermaelen’s place sharpish.
Liverpool’s version of Vermaelen, Daniel Agger, is his intended target.
The Dane was in and out of Brendan Rodgers’ side last season as Liverpool went close to landing their first ever Premier League title.
Agger startedï¿½16 times in the top flight last season and only one of the final six games of the season as the race for the title became all-encompassing.
That his one start came on the final day of the season, after City had been all but crowned champions, indicates he is no longer one of the Northern Irishman’s trusted centre-halves.
The decision to splash ï¿½20m on Dejan Lovren backs up that school of thought and if Liverpool can coax an offerï¿½of around ï¿½12m out of the Gunners, it’s unlikely the Merseyside club will take too long deliberating over the bid.
Arsenal aren’t guaranteed to land their man though, as Brondby are keen to bring the 29-year-old back to Denmark for his career’s twilight.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to ï¿½100 in free bets.