Arsenal are set to lose out in the race for Marseille star Nicolas Nkoulou as he is reportedly close to agreeing a deal with Napoli.

French newspaper Le 10 Sport, citing sources in Italy, claims that Nkoulou, who has been on Arsene Wenger's radar for some time now, could make a switch to the Serie A in January, despite interest from a number of other sides.

Bayern Munich and Arsenal are both thought to be keen on capturing the highly-rated 23-year-old, and he is widely expected to leave Marseille in the coming transfer window.

However it is thought that he is now in advanced talks with Rafa Benitez's Napoli and could secure a move away from Ligue 1 in the next few weeks.

Benitez is a known admirer of the Cameroon international and, fuelled by the fact that he has made Nkoulou his priority defensive signing, the youngster is guaranteed game-time.

Wenger will no doubt make attempts at trying to hijack the deal but if he doesn't move quickly then his side may lose out on the €20million-rated star.

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