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Benitez said to be desperate for Vermaelen swoop

Napoli boss Rafa Benitez is reportedly making every effort to persuade the club's owner to provide the funds to table a bid for Thomas Vermaelen.

According to the latest Italian press reports, Napoli boss Rafa Benitez is working hard to convince the club's president to back a move for Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen.

Vermaelen's future at the Emirates Stadium is in some doubt as he has been second fiddle to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker for much of this season.

The Belgian international's contract expires at the end of next season and it remains to be seen whether he agrees a renewal as he is said to want assurances on playing time from Arsene Wenger.

Napoli have been watching the Vermaelen situation with some interest and Benitez is a known admirer of the 28-year-old, who he reportedly sees as the answer to Napoli's defensive fragility.

The latest from Italy, courtesy of Sportmediaset, is that Benitez is currently trying to convince Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis to make a big push for Vermaelen in the summer.

Napoli were on his trail in the January transfer window without any success but they have funds at their disposal as they look to build a true Scudetto challenging side.

A possible sticking point could be wages as Napoli were allegedly priced out of a swoop for Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic by his salary demands.

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