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Arsenal Transfer News: Napoli Enter Sime Vrsaljko Race in Latest Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2017

ELCHE, SPAIN - OCTOBER 25:  Sime Vrsaljko of Atletico de Madrid reacts during the Copa del Rey first leg match between Elche CF and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Martinez Valero on October 25, 2017 in Elche, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Arsenal and Manchester City will reportedly face competition from Napoli for the signature of Atletico Madrid right-back Sime Vrsaljko.

According to Corriere dello Sport (h/t TalkSport), the Partenopei "have made the Croatian one of their top priorities for the January transfer window and are ready to go big for him."

City and Arsenal are said to have been tracking the defender since he was at Sassuolo and remain keen on him.

Football writer Ryan Catanese was excited to see Vrsaljko at Atletico Madrid:

Ryan Catanese @rcatanese

Really interested to see Vrsaljko too, great player for Sassuolo last year

However, Vrsaljko has not made a particularly significant impact in the Spanish capital since his arrival last year.

After struggling to get off the bench for some time, he enjoyed a relatively brief run in the team before a knee injury cut short his 2016/17 season. He has been limited to just five outings in this campaign.

AS' Robbie Dunne does not understand why Atleti manager Diego Simeone isn't selecting the Croatia international:

Robbie Dunne @robbiejdunne

Vrsaljko out of Simeone's squad again. Koke and Carrasco out injured. https://t.co/64VdaUg5gD

Robbie Dunne @robbiejdunne

@Jperez_5 But he was fine against Elche? And to not even make the bench just in case? It's a strange one.

It appears not to have worked out for him in Madrid, but Vrsaljko is a good player.

The 25-year-old has 30 caps for Croatia, and he showed his creativity for Sassuolo with eight assists in 59 appearances for the club.

He also reads the game well and is a robust ball-winner, so there's plenty he could bring to a new club if he makes a move to kickstart his career.

City are more in need of a left-back with Benjamin Mendy out, as Kyle Walker and Danilo play on the right, but Arsenal could use himHector Bellerin has not quite kicked on as expected over the past year, and Vrsaljko would provide stiffer competition for the Spain international than Mathieu Debuchy.

However, he spent a significant portion of his career in Italy, having also played for Genoa, so it may not be too surprising if he opted to return there should Napoli come in for him, particularly as they are challenging for the Serie A title this year.

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