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Barca announce Vermaelen deal

Barcelona have announced that they have agreed the signing of Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal on a five-year contract.

- Tomas: Vermaelen right for Barca
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Reports surfaced on Friday that the two clubs had agreed a price for Vermaelen, said to be around 15 million pounds, with the Spanish side beating off competition from Manchester United.

Barca announced on their official website on Saturday: "FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of the Belgian international, who will sign a five-year contract with the Catalan club."

"I'm feel very happy," Vermaelen told Barca TV. "I'm very excited to play for this beautiful club. It's one of the best in the world. It's a dream for a lot of people to play for this club.

"You play with the best players in the world and I'm very honoured to play with them. It means I can be a better player when I train every day with these players.

"I expect pressure, like always. I played for Arsenal as well and it's not different than this club, I think -- you need to win every single game -- so I understand there will always be pressure to deliver a good performance and I try to do that.

"My first goal is to adapt as quickly as I can. It's a different culture for me, a different language as well, so that won't be easy. I need to adapt as quickly as we can and then see how far we can go."

Barcelona have been looking to bolster their defence this summer following the retirement of Carles Puyol, and Vermaelen's arrival follows that of Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia.

Vermaelen joined Arsenal from Ajax in 2009 and initially went on to become an important member of Arsene Wenger's side, making a total of 150 appearances in all competitions.

However, niggling injuries and the form of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker limited his impact in recent seasons.

Despite losing his place in the team, though, Vermaelen remained as the club's captain and lifted the FA Cup in May as Arsenal ended their nine-year trophy drought.


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