Reports in both the Daily Mail and The Mirror suggest that Watford are interested in signing Thomas Vermaelen on a loan move this summer.

The 31-year-old centre-back, who made 150 club appearances in five years at Arsenal before leaving for Barcelona, has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons which have severely limited his chances of regular minutes.

However, the defender’s ability at a high level has rarely been questioned and it appears as though the Hornets are prepared to take a chance on him.

He’ll have another two years left on his existing contract with the La Liga side after returning from his current loan spell at Serie A club AS Roma where he has only made twelve appearances this term. Barcelona are keen to offer his services for a respectable price and a return to London has prompted Vermaelen’s representatives to act quickly in gauging whether a move could be completed this summer.

It is unclear whether there’d be a future fee inserted into the contract, activated after a specified number of matches, because the two parties are nowhere near agreeing a deal just yet.

A big hint has been made by club manager Walter Mazzarri though, who admitted he was a fan of the Belgium international before quickly shutting down transfer talk until the current campaign was complete.

As quoted by the Watford Observer he said, “Vermaelen is a very good player but I don’t want to talk about the transfer market; we’ve still got three games left, three very difficult games.

At the end of the season, we can talk about it. But now I want all of my players looking to the next three games,” Mazzarri continued.