Thomas Vermaelen joins Roma

AS Roma can confirm that the club has reached an agreement with FC Barcelona for the signing of defender Thomas Vermaelen on loan.

The agreement, which runs until 30 June 2017 and includes no initial fee, contains an option to make the signing permanent.

The 30-year-old trained with the first-team squad on Monday, after arriving in the capital on Sunday.

“I feel very happy to be an AS Roma player, and I’m looking forward to the new challenge,” Vermaelen told Roma TV.

“It’s a new start for me, in a new country, and I am looking forward to it.”

After starting out in the Germinal Beershot youth system, in 2000 Vermaelen joined Dutch side Ajax, where he progressed through the academy ranks to the senior squad.

After a year on loan at RKC Waalwijk, in 2005 he returned to Ajax where he quickly earned a starting spot in the team.

In 2009 he moved to Arsenal, going on to make 110 league appearances for the club over the next five seasons. In 2014 he moved to Barcelona, staying at the club for two campaigns.

A Belgian international, since making his debut in 2006 Vermaelen has gone on to earn 58 caps for the Red Devils - including four at the recent European Championship in France.