Transfer news: Genoa reluctant to part with highly-rated defender Sime Vrsaljko

Sime Vrsaljko: Only linked up with Genoa over the summer

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Genoa coach Gian Piero Gasperini has told Sky Sports Italia that the club has no intention of selling Sime Vrsaljko amid reports of renewed interest from Arsenal.

The Gunners are said to be long-time admirers of the Croatia international, with his progress having been closely monitored since making the breakthrough at Dinamo Zagreb.

The Premier League leaders are said to have had scouts in attendance at a World Cup qualifier on Friday, in which Vrsaljko lined up against Belgium.

Arsene Wenger is believed to consider the 21-year-old as the ideal long-term replacement for Bacary Sagna.

He may, however, have to be patient in his pursuit, with Genoa reluctant to part with a player they only acquired in July.

Gasperini told Sky Sports Italia: "They want him, but this January? We need all of our players available. It is important everyone stays together."

Vrsaljko was linked with several 'big clubs' prior to completing a switch to Serie A over the summer, but expressed a desire at the time to join a side that would help to develop his game.

He told Il Secolo XIX: "I came to Genoa because the club give youth a chance.

"If I'd joined a big club I probably wouldn't have had much playing time. This is a good team. There are young, talented players who are ambitious like me."