Chelsea have once again been linked with Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam, despite apparently being rejected by the Algerian in the summer.
According to the Daily Express, Antonio Conte attempted to sign the Algerian international in the summer transfer window and made a £24 million bid for the 25-year old. However, Ghoulam opted to stay in Italy with Napoli, and Chelsea then signed Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina instead.
Ghoulam began his career at French club Saint-Etienne, before being signed by Rafa Benitez for Napoli. He has gone on to make 98 appearances for the Italian club and has become a key member of their squad.
He has also made 23 appearances for Algeria after opting to join them despite being born in France, and has scored 6 goals for his country.
Chelsea were also rebuffed repeatedly when trying to sign his Napoli teammate Kalidou Koulibaly last summer, with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirming that Napoli rejected a €58 million bid for the 25-year old Senegalese international.
However, according to the Express, this will not deter the Blues and they will once again make an attempt to sign Ghoulam in the winter transfer window.
They claim that Antonio Conte is keen to bolster his ranks and has identified Ghoulam as an ideal candidate to add depth to his defence. Conte’s 3-4-3 system means that he utilises wing-backs heavily, and it makes sense to another attacking-minded left-back to his ranks.
Ghoulam has made 17 appearances in all competitions for Napoli this season and has kept 6 clean sheets. He has also bagged an impressive 5 assists already this campaign. The Algerian is a good passer of the ball and actively takes part in Napoli’s attack, so it is easy to see why Conte could be keen on snapping up the defender. The left-back is contracted to Napoli until 2018, so a huge bid is unlikely to be required to secure his services.