Thomas Vermaelen has emerged as a top transfer target for Napoli, reports the Metro.
The resolute centre-back has found first-team opportunities hard to come by since Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to Spurs last season, and has made just seven Premier League appearances (three as a starter) so far this term.
But with the World Cup only five months away, Vermaelen will be mindful of his status in the Belgium squad and could consider his future this month for that very reason.
The Metro says Naples newspaper Il Mattino is claiming the Belgian tops a four-man shortlist drawn up by Rafael Benitez as the Napoli boss looks to bolster his back-line.
Marseille’s Nicolas N’Koulou, Cagliari’s Davide Astori and Andrea Ranocchia of Inter Milan are said to be the other three names on the list.
However, with games set to come thick and fast for the Gunners in the second half of the season, after progressing to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup and the Champions League set to begin next month, Arsene Wenger may be unwilling to let Vermaelen go anywhere.
But Wenger seems to be addressing the situation by giving Vermaelen more game time as of late.
And if he continues to impress the Frenchman as he has done in the last few games then I can’t envisage Vermaelen departing the Emirates anytime soon.
It wouldn’t be bright to sell another body let alone our captain when we are in good stead for silverware this season.