Football

Napoli bid €5.5m for Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen

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Thomas Vermaelen has become a transfer target for Napoli, reports in Italy suggest.

The Arsenal captain is approaching his 12th month sitting on the bench for the Gunners, having been dropped after the 2-1 loss to Tottenham on 3rd March last year.

Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have since formed a strong partnership at the heart of Arsenal's defence, leaving Vermaelen out in the cold.

But despite given chances to impress, Vermaelen has failed to win his place back in the team and has only started three Premier League games for Arsenal this season.

The 28-year-old is now at risk of losing his place in the Belgium setup and with their best chance of winning a World Cup on the horizon this summer, the player could be tempted by the offer of first team football.

Il Corriere dello Sport claims that Rafa Benitez is ready to offer Vermaelen the escape route he needs. Le 10 Sport also say Napoli have bid €5.5m to try and tempt Arsene Wenger in to a January sale.

However, Arsenal want closer to €8.5m for the defender they purchased from Ajax for over £10m in 2009.

But even if the valuation is met, Wenger won't entertain the idea of letting his club captain leave in the middle of a title-challenging season.

As it is, Arsenal have just three recognised centre-backs in the squad and have been forced to use Bacary Sagna in a central position at times this season.

Unless a replacement can be found before the January window is closed, it is likely Vermaelen will continue to captain Arsenal from the bench.

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Topics:
Premier League
Arsenal
Football

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