Thomas Vermaelen
Thomas Vermaelen has struggled to get into the Arsenal team this season. [Reuters]

Napoli and Inter Milan are hoping to persuade Thomas Vermalelen to leave Arsenal in the January transfer window as he continues to struggle for regular first team action.

The Belgian remains the club captain of Arsenal but he has appeared just once in the Premier League this season, coming on in the 79th minute in the 3-1 win over Sunderland back in September.

He was once again an unused substitute at the weekend in the win over Crystal Palace and Wenger admits that he can understand why Vermaelen may be upset at the current situation.

"It is unfortunately part of our job, that sometimes we frustrate people. I can understand completely his frustration," said Wenger, as quoted in Talksport.

"He is rightly frustrated because he has the quality to play, because he behaves with a fantastic attitude and is a credit to our job, not everybody behaves like him, it is absolutely fantastic.

"They [Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny] have done well, and there was no particular reason to change.

"His time will come. In our job the most important is to be ready and he behaves like somebody who will be ready when needed."

With Koscielny and Mertesacker the preferred partnership, there has been increased speculation that Vermaelen may look to leave the club in January.

Now report that Inter Milan and Napoli are both keen to sign the 27-year-old and will make an approach when the transfer window opens in the New Year.

Inter are likely to have money to spend in January after being taken over by Erick Thohir who is keen for the club to once again be pushing for silverware.

However, they will face stiff competition from Napoli who have excelled this season under Rafa Benitez and are currently second in the league, five points behind league leaders Roma who have won all nine games this season.

Vermaelen has never suggested that he wants to leave Arsenal but he may well be concerned that he is not getting regular game time with Belgium heading to the World Cup in Brazil next year.