Arsenal Centre Back May Now Join Serie A Giants In January

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Belgium has mainly been surplus to requirements in the capital so far in this campaign. 

Napoli defender Dries Mertens has revealed that the Serie A high flyers want to take out-of-favour Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen on loan when the winter transfer window opens again for business at the turn of the year, according to the International Business Times.

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The experienced Belgium international has spent more time warming the substitutes’ bench than actually playing for the Premier League leaders of late, and now with this season climaxing as it does with the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals in Brazil, Vermaelen is understood to be desperate to quit the north London club next month in order to gain some much-needed game time.

And now it appears as though the Southern Italian giants are set to offer the coveted centre back a possible escape route from the Emirates, with Napoli head coach Rafa Benitez said to be keen to lure Vermaelen to Naples in January on an initial six-month loan deal with a view to then signing the 28-year-old on a permanent contract at the end of this campaign.

“I have already told Vermaelen to come to Napoli 10 times. The city is magnificent and even Benitez asked me to convince Vermaelen to come here. But Arsenal is a great club and it won’t be so easy for him to leave,” Mertens said.

Vermaelen has been with the Gunners since June 2009 when the central defender first arrived in the capital from Eredivisie outfit Ajax on a four-year deal for an initial fee of 10 million euros, with the player’s current contract with the club now set to run out in the summer of 2015.