Roma in advanced talks to sign Vermaelen

Roma are close to agreeing a deal to sign Thomas Vermaelen from Barcelona, head coach Luciano Spalletti has said.

Roma are in advanced talks with Barcelona over the signing of centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, according to head coach Luciano Spalletti.

Reports in Italy on Friday have claimed that the Serie A side have offered a €2million fee to secure a season-long loan, with an option to sign the 30-year-old on a permanent basis next year.

Spalletti has confirmed that sporting director Walter Sabatini is making progress over a transfer, but denied that a deal had already been agreed.

"Walter is ahead with this deal, but for now we can't say that it's done," he told Radio Roma.

"Vermaelen is a player with experience and quality. He can start the play from the back and has great thickness of character.

"These players are used to playing important European matches."

Former Arsenal captain Vermaelen has struggled for playing time at Camp Nou ever since he left the Gunners for a reported €20million fee in 2014.

A thigh injury meant he was unable to make his Barca debut until the final match of the 2014-15 LaLiga season against Deportivo La Coruna, and he only made 15 starts in all competitions last term.

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