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Report: Napoli in London to sign Arsenal man

According to the Corriere dello Sport, Napoli are preparing the groundwork to make Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen their first January signing.

Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis is ready to splash the cash this winter with Thomas Vermaelen reportedly joining Daniel Agger as a primary target.

The Azzurri started the season magnificently but Rafa Benitez has seen his side falter a little in recent weeks.

Now trailing Serie A leaders Juventus by 10 points and having been cruelly eliminated from the Champions League despite securing 12 points, Napoli are in need of a shot in the arm.

Owner De Laurentiis has indicated that he is ready to bring in at least two new faces and the defence is a priority.

Liverpool's Danish defender Daniel Agger has been identified as a target but if Italian press reports are to be believed, Arsenal man Vermaelen could be the preferred signing.

Napoli representative Maurizio Micheli was present at Arsenal's game against Chelsea yesterday and the Corriere dello Sport insists he was there to discuss Vermaelen's future.

Vermaelen hasn't had the first-team opportunities he wants for Arsenal this term and there have been suggestions that he could welcome a fresh start, even if just on loan.

The paper believes that Agger remains on Napoli's radar as well as Mateo Musacchio of Villarreal, Nicolas Nkoulou who plays for Marseille and Saint Etienne's 19-year-old Kurt Zouma.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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