Antonio Conte’s Napoli tracking 23-year-old Arsenal star with intention of potential summer transfer: Reports

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (left) and reported new Napoli manager Mikel Arteta
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (left) and reported new Napoli manager Mikel Arteta

Napoli are reportedly eyeing Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe this summer. The Englishman has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates, where he faces an uncertain future.

Smith Rowe, 23, made only 19 appearances across competitions - starting five times - contributing two assists. Both goal contributions came in 13 games in the Premier League - where the Gunners finished two points behind champions Manchester City.

Despite being contracted to the Emirates till 2026, Smith Rowe has been linked with an exit from the club. As per Football Italia (via Corriere dello Sport), Napoli are looking to snap him up. With Antonio Conte set to assume charge at the helm, the club is preparing for striker Victor Osimhen's exit.

With Mikel Arteta's side interested in the Nigerian - who Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis value at €120-130 million - a swap deal involving Smith Rowe going the other way could materialise.

Smith Rowe has 18 goals and 13 assists in 115 games across competitions for the Gunners since his first-team debut in the 2018-19 season. However, having played just 33 games in the last two campaigns, the Englishman could take up a fresh challenge elsewhere, as he's unlikely to move up the pecking order anytime soon.

How Arsenal and Napoli fared in the 2023-24 season

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Arsenal have had a superb 2023-24 season despite only winning the FA Community Shield in terms of silverware. They fell early in both domestic cups but reached their first UEFA Champions League quarterfinal in 14 years.

In the Premier League, they kept alive the title race till the last day of the season but fell short to Manchester City, who became the first team to complete a four-peat in the competition.

Meanwhile, Napoli had a largely underwhelming campaign, falling well short in their Serie A title defence, finishing a lowly 10th - a whopping 41 points behind champions Inter Milan - missing out on Europe.

In the UEFA Champions League and the Coppa Italia, they reached the Round of 16 and also lost in the Supercoppa Italiana to end the campaign without any silverware.

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Edited by Bhargav
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