Napoli manager Rafa Benitez is set to make an offer for Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa when the transfer winter opens in January, according to reports in the UK.
The former Liverpool boss wants to strengthen his defence as his team launches an assault on the Seria A title and the Champions League, and the Spaniard is keen to link up with fellow countryman Arbeloa. Benitez was in charge of the defender for two years during Arbeloa’s stint at Anfield before his switch to the Santiago Bernabeu.
According to talkSPORT, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis had given Benitez the go-ahead to make a bid for Arbeloa, who has made 116 appearances for Los Blancos since his arrival in 2009.
Should the Spain international, who is comfortable at playing at full-back as well as in the centre of defence, complete a switch to Naples, he would become the fourth Real player to do so in recent months. Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon all joined the club in the summer as the Real Madrid squad was revamped following the departure of Jose Mourinho.
Arbeloa still has two-and-a-half years to run on his contract in the Spanish capital and is believed to be keen on remaining at the nine-time European Cup winners, so Benitez would need to use his powers of persuasion to tempt him into any move away.