Napoli to rival Arsenal and Chelsea in pursuit of £13m centre back

Kurt Zouma

Napoli have entered the race for Saint-Etienne’s Kurt Zouma, per a prominent Italian source.

The Partenopei have been on the hunt for defensive reinforcements throughout the opening half of the season, the back line having proven a weakness that requires solutions if the San Paolo giants are to contend for the Serie A title down the stretch.

Daniel Agger has seemingly slipped through the fingers of the southern outfit, who reportedly had a bid for the Dane’s services rejected outright by Liverpool on Wednesday, leaving sporting director Riccardo Bigon to continue his search elsewhere.

Maresille’s Nicolas N’Koulou was suggested as another potential target but has since reaffirmed his commitment at the Stade Velodrome, with Napoli now turning their attention elsewhere in Ligue 1.

Transfer specialist Gianluca Di Marzio has maintained that the Italians have eyes for Saint-Etienne’s Zouma, understood to be of interest to Chelsea and Arsenal by the Mirror as a possible January acquisition.

Di Marzio has contended that a possible Napoli move for the Frenchman is in the formative stages, with the club considering whether pursuing his signature for next summer as a long term option would be best, even as a centre-back is a necessity in the winter window.

Zouma, just 19 years of age, signed a new deal in August tying him to Les Verts until 2017 but is currently serving a 10-game suspension for a horror tackle on Sochaux’s Thomas Guerbert in early November that broke the midfielder’s leg.

Saint-Etienne sit 12 points adrift of third place Lille in the race for Champions League football in the French top flight whilst Zouma remains unavailable until the January 25 clash with Bordeaux, so if Napoli are to have any chance of leveraging a mid-term deal, such factors will be central to negotiations.

image: © KevFB

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