FC Barcelona have today confirmed that Thomas Vermaelen has joined Roma on a season-long loan deal.
The Belgian international arrived in Rome yesterday to put the finishing touches and undergo a medical with the club, and the move has now been made official.
?Thomas #Vermaelen had his medical at Roma this afternoon.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 7, 2016
Under the terms of the deal, Roma have the option of making the 30-year-old defender’s move to the Stadio Olimpico a permanent one at the end of the season, and while Barcelona have not disclosed that fee, various reports have stated that it is somewhere between €8m and €10m.
Vermaelen had been linked with a move to England earlier this summer, with West Ham, Liverpool and former club Arsenal all thought to be interested. However, Roma’s interest was always the strongest, and Italy always appeared to be his most likely destination.
Since arriving at the Camp Nou in a £15m deal in 2014, Vermaelen has endured a particularly difficult period in his career. A recurring hamstring injury (and subesquent surgery) in his first year in La Liga kept him out of action for almost the entire season, and he only made his debut in the final day of the campaign.
He did not fare much better in his second year at the club – in all he made just 21 appearances in two years at Barça.
He becomes the fifth defender to leave Barcelona this summer as manager Luis Enrique conducts an overhaul at the back. Dani Alves, Martín Montoya, Adriano and Marc Bartra have all left in recent weeks, with French internationals Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne arriving for a combined €45m.