A thriving Belgian midfielder courted by Manchester United and Newcastle is remarkably available for a knock-down price, though the threat of Barcelona looms, per reports.
The Daily Mail reported back in February that Man Utd and Newcastle were both sizing up Royal Antwerp midfielder, Arthur Vermeeren. The 18-year-old operates in central midfield and despite his tender age, is already making a serious impact.
Indeed, Vermeeren was a regular in the Antwerp side that were crowned Belgian champions last term. The success was the club’s first top level title since 1957.
Vermeeren has continued his sparkling form into the current campaign where he’s started six matches out of six on the domestic front. His rapid rise has not gone unnoticed and Vermeeren made his Belgium debut at Under-21 level during the last international break.
The Mail previously reported Vermeeren could be available for just £20m over the summer. A move did not come to pass, though the story may change in 2024.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo have provided an update on the Belgian’s future, beginning with a mind-boggling price drop.
Despite the player’s exploits over the last six months it’s claimed the slightly discounted sum of €20m (approx. £17.25m) will now be enough to seal a deal with Antwerp.
Understandably, Man Utd and Newcastle are no longer the only ones alerted to what appears to be a fantastic opportunity.
Barcelona take lead for Vermeeren
Mundo Deportivo add Barcelona are also sizing the Belgian up and will take the first steps towards completing a coup tonight.
Barcelona host Antwerp in the Champions League and it’s claimed the LaLiga giant will use the opportunity to explore a swoop.
Barca reportedly hold a belief Vermeeren could be the long-term successor to Sergio Busquets at the base of Xavi’s midfield. The club legend left for America when joining Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi at Inter Miami over the summer.
Barca chiefs will meet with their Antwerp counterparts. The match will also provide an opportunity to meet with Vermeeren’s agent.
Vermeeren will also have a golden opportunity to prove his quality on the biggest stage. Pending Xavi’s team selection, Vermeeren could come up against household names such as Gavi, Ilkay Gundogan and Frenkie de Jong.
Man Utd and Newcastle too may well have one eye on how the Belgian performs against top tier opposition. With such a modest price tag cited, competition for his signature should be fierce in 2024.