Arsenal snubs Napoli's enquiry for Thomas Vermaelen

Arsenal have rejected an enquiry from Napoli for out-of-favour defender Thomas Vermaelen.

The Belgian has spent most of the season on the bench owing to the form of centre-back pairing Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker - who have gone two years without defeat when playing 90minutes together.

The 28-year-old Gunners captain has managed only three league starts this season, while playing just one minute of Champions League football.

Napoli manager Rafa Benitez is searching for a first choice central defender to partner former Real Madrid stopper Raul Albiol and has first-hand knowledge of Vermaelen from his time in the Premier League with both Liverpool and Chelsea.

Vermaelen has also been linked with a loan move to London rivals West Ham, although manager Sam Allardyce accepts this is unlikely to happen.