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LIVERPOOL AND ARSENAL DEFENDERS ARE TARGETS FOR LA LIGA GIANTS
SportingPreview.com: 7 March 2013

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Barcelona are reportedly ready to bid for Liverpool and Arsenal defenders Daniel Agger and Thomas Vermaelen as the Catalan giants want a long-term replacement for 34-year-old Carles Puyol.

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.

Club stalwart Jamie Carragher retires at the end of this season, and any deal for Agger would potentially mean Rodgers purchasing four central defenders as Martin Skrtel has not played well this season and Uruguayan Sebastian Coates has been linked with a move back to South America.

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Barca are said to believe that a £15m bid for Vermaelen would test Arsenal's resolve.

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

Also, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is said to have lost patience with Vermaelen's central defensive partner Per Mertesacker.

The Arsenal manager is said to be considering making Jack Wilshere captain next season at the expense of Vermaelen, and Sportsmail say that Wenger has told scouts to identify central defensive targets ahead of the summer transfer window.

Marseille's Nicolas N'Koulou, Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Amorebieta, Real Madrid's Raul Albiol and Swansea's Ashley Williams are all said to be among possible signings.


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