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Simeone happy to receive Arsenal and Napoli’s defender interest

Simeone happy to receive Arsenal and Napoli’s defender interest

Diego Simeone has discussed the future of Croatian defender Sime Vrsaljko, who has been linked with a January exit from Atletico Madrid.

It was claimed last week that the Madrid based side had told interested Arsenal and Napoli that Vrsaljko would not be leaving the club in the January transfer window.

However, Marca reported earlier this week that the defender has asked to leave the club and Simeone has now discussed the situation.

“Sime is a big player and all big players have a value,” Simeone told Marca.

“We are happy when other clubs look at our players, this is normal and it is positive for us.

“The truth is Sime has been injured and when he has played for us he has done very well, but it is a fact that Juanfran has done superbly also.

“My head is not on transfers, but only on (Wednesday’s Copa Del Rey fixture against) Elche – but the board are discussing possible targets for the New Year.”

Corriere dello Sport reported 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.

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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 Simeone’s starting eleven, although that is now expected to change given a hamstring problem with Filipe Luis.

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

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

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