Mini-Barcelona in Japan expands: Vermaelen linked with Vissel Kobe move
- The veteran defender was at Barca between 2014 and 2019.
- His contract expired this summer.
- Vissel Kobe's chairman would be happy to build a mini-Barcelona side in the Japanese league.
- Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Sergi Samper are already at Kobe.
Thomas Vermaelen is currently without a club as his contract with FC Barcelona expired on June 30. The veteran defender joined the Catalan giants in the summer of 2014 for €19million. He spent the 2016/2017 campaign on loan at AS Roma. Vermaelen couldn't be happy with the amount of the playing time he was getting at the Camp Nou stadium mostly due to his notorious injury history.
What's next for the Belgian? Madrid-based Marca reveal which club could become next in Vermaelen's illustrious career. Curiously, it's Japanese side Vissel Kobe. After securing the arrivals of David Villa, Sergi Samper and, more importantly, Andres Iniesta, the club's chairman is said to be ready to expand his 'mini-Barcelona' side in Japan.
Moreover, Diario Sport confirm this rumour and add that Vermaelen's official presentation at Vissel Kobe could be scheduled for this Saturday, July 27. That's the exact day when Barcelona face the Japanese side in a friendly.
Transfermarkt currently price Vermaelen at €2,5million. During his Blaugrana tenure, he scooped four La Liga trophies, three Copa del Rey titles and one Champions League accolade. In total, he made just 53 appearances for the Catalan giants even though he lasted there for five years. Vermaelen's only goal against Malaga during the 2015/2016 campaign. Curiously, this goal earned Barca a narrow home win over their opponents.
As for Vissel Kobe, they signed Iniesta two years ago. The midfield maestro is currently the club's captain and one of the most iconic figures in Japan.
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