Serie A giants Inter Milan could be set to rescue Thomas Vermaelen from his current Arsenal nightmare, according to Italian sources cited by talkSPORT.
27-year-old Vermaelen joined the Gunners from Dutch side Ajax in June 2009 and went on to establish himself as an integral figure in the Gunners' defence under Arsene Wenger.
However, the Belgian international has seen his role radically reduced of late and appears unable to dislodge either Per Mertesacker or French star Laurent Koscielny - Wenger's preferred centre-back partnership.
That bit-part role - which has seen him feature just once in the Premier League so far this season in a brief cameo appearance against struggling Sunderland back in September - has seen Vermaelen linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium.
According to those aforementioned sources cited by talkSPORT, Inter boss Walter Mazzari is closely monitoring the Gunners captain, with the Nerazzurri now boosted with the considerable financial backing of new owner Erick Thohir.
Inter currently lie fifth in Serie A after amassing 15 points from their opening eight games, nine points behind leaders Roma.
Whether a January exit is truly on the cards for Arsenal's forgotten defender remains to be seen.
Such a choice is likely to prove problematic for Vermaelen, with the Gunners giving the impression that they are genuine contenders in this season's title race.