Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam
Thursday Oct 26, 2017. 15:00
Chelsea have reportedly become the new favourites to sign Algerian left-back Faouzi Ghoulam from Napoli.
The Fennec Foxes player has been strongly linked with a move away from Stadio San Paolo in recent months, having thus far refused to sign an extension to his current contract with the Italian club.
Ghoulam will be out of contract at Napoli at the end of the current season, meaning he will either be free to leave in July 2018, or sold for a bargain price in the impending January window – assuming he doesn’t agree a new deal in Naples.
Manchester City appeared to be leading the race to sign the player, and saw him in action first-hand at the Etihad Stadium in their 2-1 win over Napoli in the UEFA Champions League last midweek.
However, Calciomercato reports that coach Pep Guardiola has now decided to give up the pursuit of the Algerian, allowing Chelsea to become the pack leaders.
Blues coach Antonio Conte is known to be searching for additional defensive cover (Ghoulam’s Napoli teammate Kalidou Koulibaly, for example, is a long-term target), and the Fennec Foxes player would provide great competition for Spaniard Marcos Alonso.