End of Mertesacker: Arsenal agree £22m deal for CB

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Out-of-favour Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic is interesting Arsenal, according to reports.

The Serbian centre back has made just two appearances for Napoli this season and could look to leave if the situation doesn’t improve.

According to Calciomercato, Arsenal would be willing to pay Napoli the £22m they originally paid to sign him from Torino in 2016. However, they could face competition from Inter Milan.

Maksimovic has struggled for consistent game time since arriving at Napoli, as he’s found himself behind first choice defenders Raul Albiol and Kalidou Koulibaly.

Calciomercato’s report suggests that he’s struggled to meet the demands of Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri, who wants his defenders to be comfortable playing the offside trap and passing out from the back.

Despite Koulibaly being unavailable for Napoli’s recent 3-1 win over Sassuolo, it was former Spurs defender, Vlad Chiriches, who deputised, and not Maksimovic.

Arsenal will need a new defender when Per Mertesacker retires in the summer.

Maksimovic offers plenty of height and is said to be an aggressive defender, but his inability to adapt to a more technical game may see him struggle at Arsenal as well.

He’s made just 14 appearances for Napoli since joining from Torino in 2016.

He has 19 caps for the Serbian national team, but isn’t a starter for them, either.


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