Thomas Vermaelen’s official presentation to the media took place at the Ricard Maxenchs Press Room this lunchtime and the latest summer signing expressed his excitement at joining the Club and confidence in his own ability to settle “I can bring a lot to the Club - it’ll be a challenge for me”.
Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta accompanied Vermaelen, as did the Club sporting vicepresident Jordi Mestre, who revealed the cost of the deal was 10 million Euros, with a further five million in performance bonuses and 3.8 million if the team win the Champions League. The Belgian defender’s buyout clause is set at 80 million Euros.
Zubizaretta revealed : “he had important offers from other clubs, but he chose to listen to us, which we are grateful for”, whilst Vermaelen explained: “this is one of the best clubs in the world . It’s a dream for many players to come here, so it wasn’t a difficult decision for me to make”. Asked about his injury plagued last season at Arsenal, Vermaelen explained that he would be meeting with the Club doctors and physios to determine when he’d start training with the rest of the squad, but insisted: "I want to put the injuries I’ve had behind me and look to the future. My aim is to play in lots of games and help the team. Last year was tough, but I want to start from zero and I am sure I’ll have a fantastic season here at Barça”
Zubizarreta defined Vermaelen as : “a left sided central defender, who can also play at full back. We have been looking to bring in a defender so that there is plenty of competition amongst the players we have”
You can hear the press conference in full here: