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Are United really after an injured Barcelona defender?

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According to some really weird reports, United are now actively looking for injured defenders, and have decided that Thomas Vermaelen fits the bill perfectly.

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Transfer rumours are a lot like sausages. Like sausages, they can be either satisfyingly plump and nourishing or hideous, mechanically recovered tubes of water and rusk and pig eyelash. Like sausages, they're better than nothing, but generally not as good as proper meat. And, most relevantly for today, like sausages they come in strings.

Sausage the first. This morning, several of the English newspapers carry word that both Manchester United are Arsenal are considering taking Thomas Vermaelen on loan from Barcelona. Vermaelen -- who of course featured prominently on Louis van Gaal's shopping list last summer -- would, in theory, improve both defences ... had he not spent the entire season so far missing through injury, a series of problems that might require surgery.

Still, plenty of places ascribe this rumour to Mundo Deportivo -- sausage the second -- who are, as a Catalan sportspaper, one of the more trustworthy names when it comes to Barcelona news. Surely, United (and Arsenal, as it goes) aren't going to be so stupid as to acquire another injured defender? At least let them injure themselves after they join the club!

Fortunately for everybody, the answer appears to be "no, no they're not, don't be silly". Hidden in the Mundo Deportivostory is the third sausage: "Thus, the 'Sunday Express' pointed the possibility". And when it comes to the Sunday Express? Well, let's just say 32% meat and leave it there.