Liverpool are reportedly looking to beat Manchester City in the race to sign Algerian international Faouzi Ghoulam, who plays for Napoli
According to The Sun, Faouzi Ghoulam is set to find himself in the midst of a fresh transfer battle. The Napoli superstar who was being tailed by Manchester City, is now on the radar of Liverpool, who are determined to beat the Citizens to the Algerian.
Faouzi Ghoulam’s situation is also being closely watched by Juventus and Chelsea, mainly due to the Blues’ pursuit of Alex Sandro. In case the Brazilian does sign an extension at Juventus, Chelsea will have to look elsewhere to shore up the left wing-back area and vice-versa if he does end up at Chelsea.
Manchester City have made Napoli and Algeria left-back Faouzi Ghoulam (26) a priority for the January transfer window. [Le Buteur] pic.twitter.com/wMWaD1Qcar
— City Watch (@City_Watch) October 1, 2017
Ghoulam came up through the Saint-Etienne youth setup before moving to Napoli in January, 2014. And the Algerian has since risen in stature across Europe. The left-back is regarded as one of the more dominating players in his position.
The 26-year-old, though, is set to enter the last six months of his Napoli contract in January, which would allow him to negotiate with clubs outside the Italian geographical boundary, something Napoli cannot afford and are hence, pushing for the player to sign a new long-term deal.
However, there seems to be one debatable point that has put the club and the player at loggerheads as regards an extension – the presence of a release clause.
Manchester City are looking to move for Ghoulam in January as a potential replacement for the injured Benjamin Mendy, who seems set to miss the rest of the 2017-18 campaign. The player is likely to cost less compared to the other renowned left-backs due to his contract situation.
Faouzi Ghoulam: Has made more successful final third passes (158) than any other defender in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 3, 2017
But, the Citizens seem to have competition in the form of fellow Premier League club, Liverpool. The Reds did sign Andrew Robertson in the summer but Jurgen Klopp is still intent on adding to his options on the left side of defence.
The club is also keeping an eye on AS Roma youngster Luca Pellegrini, who has a similar contract situation as Ghoulam. The players could be cheap and valuable additions to the first-team setup at Anfield.
Liverpool could stand a slight advantage in the fact that they can promise the player the role of a starter at Anfield, something which Manchester City can only be able to afford until Benjamin Mendy recovers from his injury, upon which Ghoulam will find more competition at Etihad compared to Anfield.
Napoli also have a very determined bunch of players and have started the season on a strong note. Thus, he could also stay put at the Serie A club, if the release clause conundrum is solved, which the Napoli ultras would hope is done soon.