Royal Antwerp is prepared to potentially lose teenage sensation Arthur Vermeeren in January but he’s been told Manchester United shouldn’t be his destination.
The 18-year-old midfielder has been tipped for a bright future and there’s no shortage of suitors. In the past Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have reportedly shown interest.
Sky Bet Offer: Bet £10, get £40 in free accumulator bets
Looking for some free bets to boost your betting fund? Sky Bet are offering customers the chance to get £40 in free accumulator bets when they sign up and place a £10 bet.
- Sign up at Sky Bet using this link
- Place a £10 bet on a single or each way bet at odds of 1/1 or greater, as your first bet
- Claim your £40 accumulator bonus
18+ NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 4 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ONLY REDEEMABLE ON FOOTBALL ACCUMULATOR MARKETS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. FREE BETS EXPIRE AFTER 30 DAYS. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS AND FURTHER T&CS APPLY.
As usual, Manchester United — who in the past enjoyed a working relationship with Antwerp – are linked, but ex-Dutch international Jan Mulder isn’t convinced before offering his piece of advice.
“Manchester United? That’s a snake pit. I wouldn’t [go there], he would be better off staying at Antwerp,” told Belgian outlet Het Laatste Nieuws. “I see him in the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich!”
Having come through Antwerp’s youth set-up, the Lier native sees his present deal expire in June 2026, but given the nature of modern football, Vermeeren could leave as early as the next winter transfer window.
“In the summer we have already spoken to clubs that Arthur and his entourage are open to,” Royal Antwerp general manager Sven Jaecques told reporters. “They will return in January. There is no point in speculating now about what will happen in January. The key lies primarily with the player himself. But if he continues to develop like this, it will be almost impossible to keep him in June.”
— Royal Antwerp FC (@official_rafc) December 14, 2023
Vermeeren’s stock rose in Antwerp’s final Champions League game this season. He opened the scoring as they ran out 3-2 winners over Barcelona, a historic win, as never before had the club won a European Cup or UCL game.
In scoring against Barça the wonderkid became the youngest Belgian player to score a goal in the Champions League (18y 309d). Already in this season’s competition, Vermeeren became the first Belgian player since Kevin de Bruyne to assist twice in a single Champions League game.
Indeed the only teenager directly involved in more UCL goals in the group stage was Paris Saint-Germain’s very own Warren Zaïre-Emery (one goal and three assists).