Pep Guardiola has identified the man he wants as Manchester City’s second left-back specialist and talks were held over a potential deal on Tuesday, according to Mundo Deportivo.
However, the word from Spain is that Faouzi Ghoulam of Napoli, another of those tipped to join City in recent weeks, is the one that has been chosen by Pep Guardiola. Mundo Deportivo claims that City used Tuesday night’s game against Napoli as an opportunity to hold first contact over a deal.
Ghoulam is out of contract in June and despite reports that a renewal is closer, has yet to put pen to paper – and his brother/agent is known to be ‘fascinated’ by Pep Guardiola’s interest.
It is claimed that City would be willing to pay a €5million (£4.7million) fee for Ghoulam in January, and that Napoli are open to selling him rather than losing him for nothing in the summer. The title-chasing side would need to sign an able replacement first, as Ghoulam is considered one of, if not the best left-back in Serie A at this time.
City are without any specialist left-backs following the long-term injury to Benjamin Mendy. Fabian Delph has done a very admirable job in the role, while Danilo is also capable, and at his press conference yesterday, Guardiola said Oleksandr Zinchenko will also be tested in the role – possibly against Wolves in the Carabao Cup next week.
However, if City are to compete on all fronts, Guardiola may feel the need for a natural in the role. It is important to note that Ghoulam would be ineligible for City’s Champions League fixtures were he to make the jump, having already represented Napoli in the competition.