Vermaelen not ready to train

2014-08-11 12:35
Thomas Vermaelen (Supplied)
Thomas Vermaelen (Supplied)

Barcelona - Barcelona's new signing Thomas Vermaelen has an injured right hamstring and is not yet ready to start training, the Spanish club said Monday.

The 28-year-old Belgium international defender, who completed his move to Barcelona from Arsenal on Sunday, picked up the injury during the World Cup in Brazil, the club said in a statement.

Vermaelen will undergo physiotherapy, it added. "His presence in training sessions will depend on how his recovery progresses," Barcelona said.

Vermaelen, who had been at Arsenal for five years, and captain for the past two seasons, said during his presentation at the Nou Camp on Sunday that he wanted to draw a line under an injury-plagued spell.

"I want to put the injuries I have had behind me and look to the future. My aim is to play in lots of games and help the team," he said.

"Last year was tough, but I want to start from zero and I am sure I'll have a fantastic season here at Barcelona."

Vermaelen made only 21 appearances last season as niggling injuries and the form of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker limited his impact.

However, despite being an unused substitute at Wembley, he did lift the FA Cup in May as Arsenal ended their nine-year trophy drought.

Vermaelen, who has 47 caps for Belgium, made 150 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal and scored 15 goals.

He will compete with Gerard Pique and Jeremy Mathieu for a place in the centre of the Barcelona defence.

Barcelona agreed to pay as much as 18.8 million euros ($25.2 million) for Vermaelen -- a fixed fee of 10 million euros with a further 5.0 million euros in performance bonuses and 3.8 million if the team win the Champions League.


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