Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen joins Roma on initial loan

Barcelona have confirmed that defender Thomas Vermaelen has completed a move to Roma on an initial loan for the forthcoming season.

The Serie A club confirmed that there is no fee for the loan, and they will have the option to sign the 30-year-old on a permanent basis next summer.

Vermaelen, 30, joined Barca from Arsenal in 2014 but struggled with injuries throughout his time at the Camp Nou.

Vermaelen was injured during the World Cup with Belgium in 2014, and was limited to an appearance in the final game of the following season.

He appeared in 20 matches in the most recent campaign, scoring once, but started all of Belgium's games at the European Championship in France.

"I feel very happy to be an AS Roma player, and I'm looking forward to the new challenge," Vermaelen told Roma TV.

"It's a new start for me, in a new country, and I am looking forward to it."