Napoli are eyeing up a potential January swoop for Atletico Madrid defender Sime Vrsaljko in the wake of Faouzi Ghoulam’s possible season-ending knee injury.
Ghoulam ruptured knee ligaments during his side's 4-2 defeat at the hands of Premier League leaders Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, and will undergo surgery with the expectation the 26-year-old will now miss the remainder of this campaign.
Sadly for the Algeria international the midweek loss could also spell the end of his career with the Serie A giants, with his current deal at the Stadio San Paolo expiring at the end of this term.
It is likely with such an extended period on the sidelines and the wing-back's long-term future at the club in doubt, Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri will indeed look to bring in reinforcements during the upcoming transfer window, as reported by Corriere dello Sport (via Football Italia).
According to the reports in Italy, the Light Blues see Atletico Madrid's Vrsaljko as the ideal replacement and are preparing themselves for a pursuit of the Croatian.
The 25-year-old joined Atleti in the summer of 2016 for around £14.4m from Sassuolo, with the option to join the Naples-based club also on the table ahead of his switch to Spain.
Since his arrival at the Vicente Calderón and then onto the Wanda Metropolitano, the wing-back has struggled somewhat to secure his place in Diego Simeone's plans. Vrsaljko has made just four appearances for Atleti this season, with two starts alongside and substitutes appearance in the league and a full 90 minutes in the Champions League his only recorded game time.
However, even though the defender has endured tough times in the Spanish capital, the Madrid hierarchy will hold out on a full reimbursement and more for the 25-year-old, with the price tag set at £15m.