Blockbuster Man Utd, Liverpool battle with both clubs ready to bid for ‘outrageous’ talent

Barcelona forward Joao Felix and Royal Antwerp midfielder Arthur Vermeeren

Barcelona have been told that there is a real chance of transfer target Arthur Vermeeren heading to the Premier League, as both Manchester United and Liverpool are reportedly ready to submit offers for him.

Vermeeren is an 18-year-old central midfielder who plays for Royal Antwerp in Belgium. Despite his tender age, he is already an important player for Antwerp, having registered one goal and five assists in 19 games across all competitions.

Vermeeren is picking up vital experience in the Champions League, as he has played a full 90 minutes in all three of their group stage matches so far. While Antwerp have lost those games, Vermeeren has impressed, and he notched two assists in the 3-2 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk on October 4.

Antwerp could soon cash in on the player, as he is arguably the most exciting teenager in Belgium right now. The Scouting App label his start to the 2023-24 campaign as ‘sensational’, while also calling his ability ‘outrageous’ for such a young player.

Major clubs are hoping to sign him as he is a complete midfielder who can operate as a No 6 or as a No 8. Vermeeren has a great engine, is defensively strong and also possesses fantastic ball retention skills.

He is known to be on Xavi’s wish list at Barca, but they are not alone in the transfer pursuit. In September, both Man Utd and Liverpool were linked with him, while TEAMtalk exclusively revealed on October 11 that Arsenal are also in the frame to complete a deal.

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Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo have now provided the latest on Vermeeren, as cited by Sport Witness. They explain how Barca sporting director Deco has held initials talks with Antwerp chiefs over a possible swoop for Vermeeren.

However, Barca will not have it all their own way as Antwerp officials have told Deco that English clubs are ‘willing to bid’ to secure Vermeeren’s services first. This is when Man Utd and Liverpool are named as the starlet’s primary suitors from the Premier League.

Man Utd, Liverpool and Barcelona all converge on wonderkid

It seems Man Utd and Liverpool have moved past Arsenal and are now battling to put themselves in pole position to strike an agreement with Antwerp.

While Vermeeren is valued at €25million (£22m) by transfermarkt, it is claimed that the Jupiler Pro League side are holding out for upwards of €30m (£26m).

This is clearly a lot of money for a player of Vermeeren’s age. However, the one-cap Belgium international is one of the most exciting young players in Europe right now. Antwerp know he has the potential to become a truly world-class player, and that is why they will demand so much.

Both Man Utd and Liverpool have the finances to match that £26m price tag, and they should definitely consider doing so.

Vermeeren might not go straight into Erik ten Hag’s or Jurgen Klopp’s starting lineups, but he could end up becoming one of their most important players after a couple more years of development.

Barca will, of course, put up stiff competition as they are often hard for players to turn down thanks to their illustrious history. But the superior spending power of the Prem means it is likely either Man Utd or Liverpool will win the race for Vermeeren.

Meanwhile, a pundit has claimed it is ‘inevitable’ Liverpool will lose Mo Salah next summer, while also making a prediction on the transfer fee.