Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone targeted by Napoli

The Serie A club are in the market for a new shot-stopper and have pinpointed the 24-year-old Gunners player as a potential target
By Elia Raimondo

Napoli have identified Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone as a possible long-term replacement for veteran Morgan De Sanctis and are willing to pay around €5 million for his services next summer.

The Italian has been propelled into the Gunners' first-team this season following injuries to both Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski, and received plaudits for his displays against Manchester City and Liverpool in recent weeks.

And, after first-choice target Mattia Perin opted to join Pescara on loan from parent club Genoa, Napoli have now pinpointed Mannone as a potential signing.

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Mannone's current contract expires in 2014, and confirmed on Saturday that no talk of an extension has currently been broached.

He told reporters: “Neither myself nor anyone from my family or friends have spoken about any deal,” he said.

“At the moment I am really happy and just focusing on training and playing well. I am trying to be the No.1 for this club and win trophies. That is my only concern and I would like to make that clear."

Inter are also thought to be showing an interest in the 24-year-old, who Wenger recently confirmed had been available for purchase during the summer - though no club submitted a concrete bid.

"When I sent Mannone to Hull, I watched him every single game and all the reports I had were very positive. I was quite surprised no club went for him because I would have let him go," the Arsenal boss told reporters.