By 90Min
November 09, 2017

After the disappointing injury to key full-back Faouzi Ghoulam, who suffered a serious knee injury that will keep the defender out for as long as four months, the Serie A leaders have turned their attention to an Atletico Madrid star as a replacement.

The defender they have in mind to replace Ghoulam is 25-year-old defender Sime Vrsaljko, with TuttoMercatoWeb reporting Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri believes the Croatian international could be the perfect stand-in for Ghoulam.

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However, sources suggest that move has been instantly rejected, with Rojiblancos coach Diego Simeone intent on keeping the versatile defender at Wanda Metropolitano for the foreseeable future.

Media outlets in Italy believe even Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has held brief conversations with the directors of Atletico Madrid to enquire about Vrsaljko ability, with Napoli keen on not blowing the fine start they have had to the Serie A season, unbeaten still after 12 matches.

With Atletico Madrid currently behind leaders Barcelona in fourth place, already eight points off the pace, Simeone is insistent on keeping all of his major first-team players, especially considering they all still under a transfer embargo.

As the second half against Manchester City showed the difference for Napoli without the rampaging runs of Ghoulam, the Serie A league leaders will have to act quick in the January transfer window if they hope to hold off the likes of Juventus, Inter and their rivals AC Milan.

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