Vermaelen looks to be edging ever nearer to a transfer to Italy.
Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has requested a transfer this summer and Napoli look set to secure their long-term target, according to Football Italia.
The Serie A club have been in pursuit of the Belgium international for some time as Vermaelen continues to be left out of the starting XI.
This is because Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are the recognised central defensive partnership under manager Arsene Wenger currently.
This has limited the 28-year-old to just eight starts in all competitions this season and it’s this reason that the defender has asked to leave the Emirates Stadium.
With Vermaelen’s current contract with the Gunners expiring in 2015 it’s likely that the Naples club wouldn’t have to pay over the odds for Belgian.
Rafael Benitez is a long-term admirer of the centre-back and sees him as a cost effective option to improve the defence at the Stadio San Paolo.
Vermaelen first arrived in north London in the summer of 2009 in a £10m transfer from Ajax and immediately became an important figure in the first team.
The defensive star has played 144 matches for the club since that move and became skipper, but has been moved to the periphery of the starting XI since the rise in prominence of Koscielny and Mertesacker.
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