Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen Set For Exit in January: Report
Arsenal have yet to sign any player in the winter transfer window, though manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that the squad may require reinforcement, especially in the strike department.
The Gunners are top of the league at the moment and there is a genuine hope that they can go all the way to seal the Premier League title. The squad seems a happy bunch, while Wenger has spoken about the need to solve the contract problems of few players as well.
However, the case of Thomas Vermaelen is intricate. The Arsenal skipper has dropped down the pecking order at the club behind Per Mertesacker and Koscielny, and in order to boost his World Cup chances, he needs regular games under his belt regularly.
Wenger understands that too, but he simply cannot break the defensive partnership, under any normal circumstances to incorporate him in the starting line-up. Also, Vermaelen is too good a player to warm the bench week-in-week out, although he is injured at the moment.
According to reports in Italy, Napoli are targeting to land the frustrated Belgian in the January transfer window.
Napoli boss Rafael Benitez is keen to find a solution to the fragile defence and have targeted Vermaelen as the right man to do the job for him.
Il Mattino reports that Vermaelen has agreed in principle to join the Naples club, but the two clubs are yet to come to an agreement on the fees. Also, Napoli are quite short of Arsenal’s valuation for the defender.
Napoli have already put in a bid for the defender, which was rejected but sporting director Riccardo Bigon is looking to follow up with a better bid.
The ideal situation for Vermaelen would be to go out on loan for the rest of the season, with Napoli given the option to sign him permanently next summer.
Should Arsenal allow Vermaelen to join Napoli?