New reports claim the deal was way off the Gunners' asking price for the Belgium international and are also hoping they could even push for the inclusion of player in any potential deal.

It's understood that Louis Van Gaal will return with an improved offer if Vermaelen refuses to sign a new contract with the north London side.

Wenger hopes he can persuade his captain to stay and put-pen-to-paper on a new deal but knows he can only offer him a back-up role in the current squad.

The 28-year-old spent much of last season on the bench as he played second fiddle to the solid Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.