Arsenal ‘ready’ to launch January bid for the next Iniesta as Man Utd, Liverpool watch on

Arsenal linked Royal Antwerp midfielder Arthur Vermeeren

Arsenal linked Royal Antwerp midfielder Arthur Vermeeren

Arsenal are reportedly ‘ready’ to offer around £13m for Royal Antwerp midfielder Arthur Vermeeren in January to beat the competition to his signature.

The talented 18-year-old has earned rave reviews after shining in the Belgium top flight, with pundits comparing him with legendary players such as Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

Vermeeren broke into the Antwerp team last season and has already become one of their most important players.

This season, the Belgium under-21s international has featured in all of Antwerp’s league games so far.

He has made 24 appearances in all competitions – including five in the Champions League – scoring one goal and making five assists.

Vermeeren generally plays as a defensive midfielder but also features in a more attacking role on occasion.

Arsenal have been admirers of the teenager for some time, with Mikel Arteta seeing him as a potential long-term replacement for exit-linked star Thomas Partey.

Manchester United and Liverpool have previously been linked with Vermeeren, too, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them also launch an offer for him in January.

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Arsenal offer will fall short of Antwerp valuation

According to Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb, Arsenal are ‘ready’ to launch an offer worth approximately £13m for Vermeeren in January.

The report states that the Gunner’s main competition comes from Barcelona and Napoli but as mentioned, the midfielder also has other suitors in the Premier League.

Antwerp, however, are said to be demanding a fee of £21.6m for Vermeeren, so Arsenal are still well short of the youngster’s price tag as it stands.

Arsenal will hope that they can negotiate a lower fee for Vermeeren, but the gap in valuations does give other teams an opportunity to put a larger bid on the table.

It will be interesting to see how Antwerp respond to the Gunner’s bid, if they do submit it in January as the reports suggests.

Whether or not Man Utd or Liverpool respond with their own offer remains to be seen.

£21.6m may sound like a big price tag for a player with no Premier League experience but if Vermeeren lives up to his sky-high potential, he will be worth every penny.

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