Thomas Vermaelen keen on Premier League return

Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is keen on a return to the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion this summer.

The Belgium international signed for Barcelona from Arsenal more than three years ago, and he has since failed any impact due to his constant injury concerns.

Vermaelen spent the previous campaign on loan with AS Roma where he was not more than a backup player, and he is now prepared to leave the Catalan giants in order to encourage his World Cup hopes. The 31-year-old currently has two more years left on his Barcelona contract and the club would be better off offloading him this summer to avoid paying an additional €3m to Arsenal.

Barcelona have already paid an additional €5m in bonuses to Arsenal after his initial €10m transfer in 2014, and they may have to cough up another €3m if they manage to win the Champions League in the upcoming campaign. Baggies boss Tony Pulis has recently admitted that the club are desperate to make three to four signings before the transfer deadline, and Vermaelen could be utilised a quality backup behind Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, Craig Dawson and loan recruit Ahmed Hegazy.

Apart from his central defensive duties, the Belgian is also capable of featuring in the left-back department, and he could potentially compete with Allan Nyom and Chris Brunt for the position. The Baggies made an excellent start to the previous campaign under Tony Pulis as they reached the 40 point as early as March.

However, their form seemed to disintegrate once they secured safety as they failed to win none out of their last nine games in the Premier League. West Brom have started the new season with a well-earned 1-0 victory over Bournemouth, and Pulis will hope to keep his side on the right side of results in order to avoid a relegation scrap at the end of the season.