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Manchester City and Manchester United face new challenge for Espanyol’s Aarón Martín

A serious injury to Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam benefited Manchester City when the two teams met in the Champions League at the Stadio San Paolo, with Maurizio Sarri’s team losing their balance when the Algerian was forced off.

However, Ghoulam’s injury may have had a negative knock-on effect for Pep Guardiola’s transfer plans. That is because, as reported by Catalan newspaper SPORT today, Napoli are now looking as a rumoured City target to replace Ghoulam.

20-year-old Espanyol left-back Aarón Martín is known to be on City’s radar going back to the summer and there have been fresh reports of a bid being planned to add depth at left-back with Benjamin Mendy out for much of the season.

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United are also admirers of Aarón and now it is reported that he is Napoli’s main target to fill the gap left by Ghoulam.

Espanyol are aware that they have a valuable asset on their hands in Aarón and the club’s sporting director, Jordi Lardín, admitted yesterday that the Catalan club would not rule out a sale – if their terms were met.

Aarón has a non-negotiable release clause of €30million (£26.8million), an amount that will rise to €40million (£35.7million) in June. Conscious of that fact, Man City, Man United and now Napoli may look to move for the Spain under-21 international in January, although €30million is a figure rarely splashed out by the Italian club.

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