Chelsea transfer news: Former Arsenal star Thomas Vermaelen linked with shock Stamford Bridge switch

Chelsea are plotting a swoop for former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, according to reports in Spain.

Due to injuries and the form of Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano, the Belgian defender has struggled to force his way into Barcelona’s starting line-up at the Nou Camp since he signed from the Gunners in 2014 and may be allowed to leave this summer.

Besiktas have already expressed an interest in the 30-year-old, while Liverpool and West Ham are also understood to be keen.

But Chelsea believe they can stump up the most attractive offer for Vermaelen and will make contact with Barca after this summer’s European Championship, according to Fichajes.

Signing an experienced centre-back is high on Chelsea’s list of priorities this summer with club captain John Terry’s future still shrouded in doubt.

Vermaelen made 150 appearances for Arsenal during his five-year spell at the Emirates before leaving for Barca for £15m having spent the vast majority of the 2013/14 season as back-up to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

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