Zenit’s extortionate offer for Arsenal defender suits all parties

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Given the kind of season Arsenal are having, it would take either a very large transfer bid or interest in a player on the outer most fringes of the side for the north London club to part with one of their players this season.

Well it just so happens that both scenarios could be realised in tandem, with a big money offer poised to come in for rarely seen club captain, Thomas Vermaelen.

Big-spending Russian side, Zenit St Petersburg, are said to be the club with an interest in the centre back, with a starting bid of £15m bound to test the resolve of the Gunners big wigs.

Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are the preferred pair to marshal Arsene Wenger’s defence this season, with just nine games so far this season kicking off without the two lined up alongside each other.

That’s left Belgian Vermaelen to make just three Premier League starts this term, alerting Zenit to his potential availability.

The Russian transfer window remains propped open until February 25, meaning they can bring players in now and Zenit manager Luciano Spalletti is keen to add the 28-year-old to Salomon Rondon, who he brought in from rivals Rubin Kazan recently, on his acquisition list.

With Arsenal faring well without their previous armband-wearer – they sit on top of the Premier League by two points and are 9/2 to go all the way in title race – Wenger could decide that the offer is too large to ignore, allowing Vermaelen to link up with compatriots Nicolas Lombaerts and Axel Witsel in Russia.

Just one goal separates Arsenal from the best defensive record in the Premier League and considering they’ve kept just two clean sheets in the six games the Belgian has started in all comps, it doesn’t seem likely they’ll rebuff Zenit’s advances.

Meanwhile, the Russian club gain a World Cup hopeful to solidify their back line, while the player himself can get back to playing regularly.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.