Arsene Wenger admits Manchester United are one of the clubs trying to sign Thomas Vermaelen but the Arsenal boss would prefer to see the defender move abroad.

Vermaelen struggled to establish himself in the Gunners first team last season and has attracted interest from a number of clubs this summer.

Wenger refused to discuss the size of the bids received but confirmed the club have received a number of offers for the Belgian.

"Have we received bids? Yes. I can't tell you who from but you will know very soon," Wenger said.

"Are Man United one of the teams to have made an offer? I think they could be in the group."

Vermaelen made just 21 appearances in all competitions last season and only 14 in the Barclays Premier League.

After signing for Arsenal from Ajax in July 2009, Vermaelen became an integral part in the Gunners' defence but form and fitness have since put his starting spot in jeopardy.

Wenger admits Arsenal are willing to sell Vermaelen but would prefer him to join a foreign club.

"He could leave, it could happen, I've said that since the start of pre-season," Wenger said.

"He needs to play now. He has shown an outstanding attitude but he is in a position where we wouldn't stand in his way if he finds an interesting opportunity."

Wenger added: "Ideally, yes, we would like to sell him abroad and that is an option for us.

"I don't want to say how many offers we have but we have offers from abroad as well."