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Arsenal join Italian side with Vrsaljko interest

Arsenal have joined Napoli and made Atletico Madrid defender Sime Vrsaljko their main target for the January transfer window, according to reports.

Corriere dello Sport report the news that both the Gunners and the Serie A side are ready to make contact with the Spanish club over a potential deal.

Having arrived in the Spanish capital last season in a £14m deal from Italian club Sassuolo – the Croatian full-back made his presence known, replacing the experienced Spaniard Juanfran at right back.

However, a knee problem saw him end last season on the sidelines and the form of Juanfran has seen him fail to get back into Diego Simeone’s starting eleven.

Napoli, who are currently leading the Serie A standings believe the defender can be an adequate replacement for the injured Faouzi Ghoulam and they are keen to tie up a deal in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are also keen with Arsene Wenger keen to bolster his defensive options.

One stumbling block over a potential deal though is an injury to Filipe Luis, who suffered a hamstring problem against Qarabag in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

Atleti boss Simeone is expected to shuffle Vrsaljko over the left back slot and this could see him force his way back into contention for a starting place.

Vrsaljko spent a season on loan with Italian side Genoa before moving to Sassuolo and then Atleti.

Corriere dello Sport also report that if negotiations fail, then Napoli officials will make a move for Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo.

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