According to the Sunday People, Spanish giants FC Barcelona are interested in signing Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen in the summer transfer window and are ready to offload David Villa in exchange for the defender's services. 

Via CaughtOffside:

“Barcelona want to sign Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen in the summer and are set to offer David Villa in exchange to secure the deal, according to the Sunday People.

The 27-year-old Vermaelen has endured a rollercoaster time at Arsenal since joining for £10million from Ajax in 2009, missing almost all of the 2010/11 season because of an Achilles injury before being named the club’s new captain this season when Robin Van Persie departed.”

With captain Carles Puyol entering the twilight days of his career, the Catalans are keen to bolster their defence at the end of the season.

Although Vermaelen is relatively an injury-prone player, he possesses undoubted talents and was also linked with a move to the Nou Camp last summer.  The 27-year-old’s versatility to play both as a centre-back, as well as a left-back could of immense importance to Barcelona as the latter usually prefer players capable of fulfilling different and multiple roles.

Arsenal, on the other hand, are keen admirers of Spain international David Villa and Arsene Wenger even tried to get the former Valencia star’s signature during the January transfer season. 

Due to his length injury layoff, Villa finds himself behind the likes of Pedro Rodriguez, Tello and Alexis Sanchez in the pecking order at Barcelona and thus has spent large chunk of the current season on the bench. The 31-year-old’s departure from the Blaugrana looks imminent in the summer as per many transfer stations and the Gunners could be perhaps, the front-runners to snap up the illustrious Spaniard.

Nonetheless, it looks highly unlikely that Arsenal will accept a Villa-Vermaelen swoop. The Belgium international is presently the club’s captain and one of their most important stars. Although the North London club could look to sign Villa when the transfer window reopens, they won’t be willing to sell one of their best players to Barcelona for the third consecutive year. 

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