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Liverpool and Arsenal target heading to Roma

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Former Arsenal skipper and rumoured Liverpool defensive target Thomas Vermaelen of FC Barcelona has travelled to Rome on Sunday after acquiring a permission to undergo a medical at Italian side Roma for a potential loan move.

Vermaelen, 30, arrived at Barcelona from Arsenal in the summer of 2014, but his status as a starter did not materialize due to regular injury issues that he encountered.

The Belgian defender is tipped to join Roma for 2 million euros ($2.2 million) in a deal that can turn into a final purchase for 8 to 10 million euros ($8.8 to $11 million).

The news is a major blow to Liverpool, who were actively pursuing the Belgian international, and for Arsenal fans, who were hoping to see the centre back return to the club after his disappointing stint in Barcelona.

Vermaelen will team up again with Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who has rejoined Roma for a second consecutive loan spell.