Arsenal are believed to be interested in signing Napoli right-back Kévin Malcuit before Thursday's transfer deadline, as they look to find a suitable replacement for long-term absentee Héctor Bellerín.
The Spain international suffered a nightmare anterior cruciate ligament injury ligament during his side's 2-0 victory over Chelsea earlier in the month, and is likely to be out of action for up to nine months. With a gruelling run-in of fixtures to come, and a defensive injury crisis enveloping them, the pressure is on for the Gunners to sign some reinforcements.
There are no obstacles in life you can't get over. Been a difficult couple of days but I'm positive and ready to take whatever challenge comes my way. Thank you so much for the love and messages, you are incredible ❤ pic.twitter.com/onwrMvIKui
According to France Football, Napoli defender Malcuit has emerged as a strong candidate to temporarily replace Bellerín. The 27-year-old only joined the Serie A side last season, but has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot, given the impressive form of Albanian ace Elseid Hysaj who plays in the same position.
The report doesn't clarify whether Malcuit is being targeted on a permanent on temporary deal, but given that the player has only recently joined the club, and Arsenal's notoriously stringent strategy in the transfer market, it could well be the latter. The versatile full-back's career is rapidly becoming that of a journeyman, having appeared for seven clubs in as many years.
Malcuit's current contract runs until 2022, which again suggests that he will be targeted as a loan signing. Gunners boss Unai Emery does have options such as Stephan Lichtsteiner and Carl Jenkinson at his disposal, but given the players' underwhelming previous performances, he could well look to bring in a fresh face before the deadlines.
In other news, Spanish football journalistGuillem Balagué has dismissed reports that Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey has already had a medical with Juventus ahead of his rumoured summer switch. Balagué claimed that the deal was essentially done, but that the Wales international did not undergo a medical in London earlier in the month as previously reported.