Vermaelen has emerged an an unlikely target for Naples club.
In a move that is sure to raise a few eyebrows Napoli prepare a bid for out-of-favour Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, according to talkSPORT.
With manager Arsene Wenger preferring the partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker at the back – Vermaelen started just twice in the Gunners’ last 10 league matches – it seems as if the Belgian is on his way out at the Emirates.
Barcelona have been linked with the 27-year-old but now it seems that Napoli are prepared to sneak in ahead of the Catalans and snap up the Arsenal captain.
Vermaelen was named club captain in north London following the departure of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United, but has since fallen out of the starting XI.
The Gunners signed the skipper in 2009 for €12million from Dutch side Ajax and the centre-back made an immediate impact.
Vermaelen was one of a number of Belgian players coming through as a top talent in the Premier League – joining the likes of Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard and Marouane Fellaini – but has been more of a bench-warmer in 2012/13.
The Belgium international has started 35 matches for Arsenal this season, also scoring once in the Capital One Cup, but has played no more than a handful of minutes since the team’s 3-1 victory over Norwich on April 13.
Vermaelen has become a fans favourite in recent years and would probably be missed if he were to be sold to Napoli, but with the Gunners taking a keen interest in Swansea’s Ashley Williams there is every chance the Belgian will not be in a Arsenal shirt come next season.