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Southampton's pursuit of Thomas Vermaelen gets boost thanks to Barcelona's loan signing

Only a month ago, Southampton were linked with a move for Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen and that looks to have taken another step closer as the Spanish club have signed Jeison Murillo on loan from Valencia.

An injury to the Belgian, who is the club’s fourth choice central defender, has forced the club into action after Mundo Deportivo previously claimed that the ex-Arsenal captain would leave in the summer with the Saints and Watford monitoring the situation.

With Murillo now having been brought in, with an option to make the deal permanent included in the agreement, it seems nearly impossible for Vermaelen to make a return.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 11: (L-R) Thomas Vermaelen of FC Barcelona, Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur at the Camp Nou on December 11, 2018 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)

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Despite changes in the hierarchy at Saint Mary’s in that time frame, Vermaelen would still represent a suitable option provided that he could prove that he can maintain his fitness.

Proven in the Premier League and potentially bringing much needed experience to a young backline, Vermaelen’s addition may be a bargain one if Barcelona are keen to get him off the wage bill.

Fitness and injury concerns may prove to be pivotal in whether a deal can be achieved or not, but Southampton may now be another step closer to completing the signing.

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