Arsenal have refused to comment after reports in the Spanish media suggested former defender Thomas Vermaelen could make a shock return to Emirates Stadium.
Catalan daily Sport claimed the Gunners, along with West Ham, have sounded out Barcelona about the Belgium defender with the report going as far to suggest that Arsene Wenger had already held talks with the 30-year-old centre-half.
Vermaelen left Arsenal in a £15million deal two summers ago, but his time at the Nou Camp has been beset by injuries and he’s made just 21 appearances in all competitions for Luis Enrique’s side.
However, the London Evening Standard claim that, despite not making an official comment, the Gunners have ruled out a move for their former star.
Arsenal, however, have stepped up their search for a new central defender after Per Mertesacker was ruled out for up to five months.
Mertesacker will miss the start of the season with a knee injury and Wenger wants to sign some cover with Laurent Koscielny set to be ruled out of the first game of the season against Liverpool on August 14 after returning late after Euro 2016.
That leaves Gabriel, Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as the manager’s only centre-back options and the Arsenal boss has been forced into the market.