Thomas Vermaelen confirms Vissel Kobe move

Japanese club Vissel Kobe have confirmed the signing of FC Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen.

The J-League outfit announced the transfer prior to their friendly game with the La Liga champions, and the Belgian international joins former FC Barcelona team mates Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Sergi Samper in Kobe.

Vermaelen, 33, has signed a three-year deal with the club after Ernesto Valverde's side accepted a €2.5m bid for the former Arsenal central defender.

The veteran defender has endured an injury ravaged career in Catalonia, making just 34 La Liga appearances in four seasons, and nine during a loan spell at AS Roma in 2016-17.

His first team opportunities have been further limited by the arrivals of Samuel Umtiti, Clement Leglet and Jean-Clair Todibo in recent seasons.

Tags FC Barcelona Thomas Vermaelen Vissel Kobe