Daniel Agger and Thomas Vermaelen could be on their way out of the Premier League with La Liga leaders Barcelona ready to bid for the defenders.

The Catalan giants want a long-term replacement for 34-year-old Carles Puyol and believe Liverpool’s Agger and Arsenal captain Vermaelen fit the bill.

Barca first showed signs of interest in Agger when Manchester City had a £20million bid rejected last summer and with Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels proving too costly, are ready to renew their interest.

Barca bound? Liverpool's Agger (left) and Arsenal skipper Vermaelen are on the Catalan club's shopping list

Any move would leave Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers with a project to rebuild his defence. Martin Skrtel has not played well this season and Uruguayan Sebastian Coates has been linked with a move back to South America.

Club stalwart Jamie Carragher retires at the end of this season, and any deal for Agger would potentially mean Rodgers purchasing four central defenders.

Barca also believe a £15m bid for Vermaelen would test Arsenal’s resolve.

Old guard: Barca want a long-term replacement for Carles Puyol (right, challenging Cristiano Ronaldo)

The centre-half would be the third Arsenal captain to leave for Barcelona in six years after Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas.

The Catalan club, currently managed by Tito Vilanova - who has missed the last month of games while in hospital for cancer treatment - want a defender who fits in with their philosophy of playing football from the back.

They also need to shore up their leaky back line in the face of their two recent Clasico defeats by Real Madrid and standing on the verge of a Champions League exit at the hand of AC Milan.

 

Daily Mail