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Napoli could hijack Inter's Vermaelen bid

Inter are believed to be lining up a bid for Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, but reports in Italy suggest that Napoli could gazump them.

The Italian press have been suggesting for several weeks that Inter will make a winter move for out-of-favour Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, but there are now whispers that Napoli have taken an interest in the Belgian.

Arsenal's captain has been struggling for first-team football this season due to the form of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

Vermaelen has been quoted as saying that he may consider leaving the Emirates Stadium in order to cement his place in Belgium's World Cup squad.

While Arsene Wenger insists that the 27-year-old won't be leaving, he may well be tempted by an offer from one of Serie A's giants.

Inter's new owner Indonesian investor Erick Thohir is expected to pump money into the club and provide a large budget for reinforcements in January after a disappointing start to the season.

Calciomercato.it suggests that Arsenal's value the wantaway Vermaelen at around £12m, which may be too much for the Nerazzurri, but states that the fact the defender's contract expires in 2015 may force them to compromise.

However, Spanish site Fichajes.com believes that Napoli are also in the hunt for Vermaelen as they look to strengthen their Scudetto credentials.

While Inter are believed to be in pole position should Vermaelen decide to leave, Napoli may be willing to outbid them as they have funds at their disposal.

In the summer owner Aurelio De Laurentiis declared that he had over £100m to spend and should still have some funds left over. 

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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