The name Faouzi Ghoulam is not a new one here on City Watch. On no less than five occasions have we reported Manchester City’s interest in the Napoli left-back, as reported by the Italian media.
In mid-March, TMW claimed that City were preparing a €13 million (£11.4 million) bid for the Algerian international, who has emerged as one of Serie A’s best full-backs in recent years.
Then, later in March, Italy’s number one transfer source, Gianluca Di Marzio, shared his information that Napoli were becoming resigned to losing the 26-year-old and were already looking at potential replacements.
In a new report by GazzaMercato, a subsidiary of the famous Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, it is said that Ghoulam is still refusing to sign a new deal. His contract expires in 2018, leaving Napoli with two choices if he refuses to renew – sell for whatever they can this summer or lose one of their most valuable assets for nothing in just over a year’s time.
And the two teams already taking advantage of this situation are Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, both of whom have already begun talks with Ghoulam’s entourage, according to GazzaMercato. Initial discussions have taken place, although no further details are offered.
Ghoulam has seven assists this season, three of them in the Champions League, and would bring more attacking threat to City’s left-hand side than Gaël Clichy, one of three full-backs out of contract at City in June.
City are in urgent need of full-backs and there are some potential bargains on the market this summer, with Ghoulam’s contract winding down and Schalke left-back, Sead Kolašinac, available on a free transfer and wanted by a host of clubs.
More expensive left-back options, such as Danny Rose, Ryan Bertrand, Álex Grimaldo and Juan Bernat have also been linked with a switch to the Etihad.