Crystal Palace plot move for Thomas Vermaelen

Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer is prepared to offer an escape route to Thomas Vermaelen, who has had a miserable spell at Barcelona.

The Belgium international joined the Catalan giants from Arsenal back in the summer of 2014 and has since missed large spells of first-team football through injuries.

Vermaelen has been absent for 65 games in total over the past three seasons including 17 in a season-long loan with AS Roma last term. In spite of this, he has performed efficiently whenever on the playing field, and he has the desire to return to England during this summer’s transfer window.

According to The Sun, the Eagles could lodge a transfer attempt to sign the former Gunners centre-back with de Boer keen on adding more options in the central defensive department. Mamadou Sakho proved a huge hit during his short-term loan from Liverpool last season, but a permanent deal looks a long way off the cards with the Reds having placed a hefty £30m price tag.

Vermaelen has the potential to play at left-back in addition to his regular central defensive role, but his injury record of late has left Barcelona frustrated in the quest to offload his services. Meanwhile, a report from The Mirror suggests that the Eagles could make an approach to Vermaelen’s former club Arsenal with Calum Chambers apparently attracting De Boer’s interest.

Chambers enjoyed a successful season on loan with Middlesbrough where he made 26 appearances in total, and he is prepared to lure him to Selhurst Park with a £16m bid placed on the table. The former Southampton graduate is desperate to make his mark in the Premier League next season, and this could encourage the Gunners to sanction his sale with Arsene Wenger looking to recoup additional funds to push through a deal for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar.