Catalan Publication, Sport, reported that the Spanish La-Liga Champions weighed up a bid from Emirates Stadium. Arsenal coach, Arsene Wenger surprisingly made a bid to re-sign their former defender, Thomas Vermaelen.
Vermaelen joined the Ajax youth academy in year 2000 as the Netherlands side won the 2003/04 Eredivisie title in his first season with the club. He had a loan spell with RKC Waalwijk before returning to Ajax and winning the KNVB Cup and the Johan Cruyff Shield as well. When Klaas-Jan Huntelaar departed in 2009, Vermaelen played as the club captain for the rest of the season.
The Belgium international made his international debut for his country in 2006, and went on to win 58 caps for them. He represented them at the 2008 Olympics where they came off as the third runners-up. Also, he played at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016.
Once a Gunners star, Vermaelen swapped the Emirates for Nou Camp in a £19m deal just two years ago (August, 2014). He ended upfamously lifting the Champions League trophy plus a domestic double in his first season with the club, Barcelona, despite appearing just once all year.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger was in desperate need of defensive cover after Per Mertesacker was ruled out in May for up to five months due to a knee injury. The French man later signed the 24-year old German, Shkodran Mustafi on a five-year deal.
Vermaelen, who is known for his goalscoring ability as a defender, joined Arsenal in July, 2009 and made it into the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for that season. Just three years into his Arsenal career, he was made captain following the transfer of Robin van Persie to their rivals, Manchester United.
The Belgian defender is currently on loan at Roma, where he joined in August from Barcelona and has appeared for the Italian side three times, both in the UEFA Champions League and Italian Serie A.