Manchester City make Napoli contract rebel a priority for January transfer window – report – City Watch

City Watch

Manchester City will move for highly-rated Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam in the January transfer window, according to reports from his homeland of Algeria.

Algerian football source Le Buteur claims to have information from ‘reliable sources’ that Pep Guardiola has joined Liverpool and Chelsea in hoping for a bargain deal for the 26-year-old after losing Benjamin Mendy to a long-term injury.

Ghoulam is rated as one of the best left-backs in Serie A, with some even believing he is better than Juventus ace Alex Sandro, but much to the annoyance of Napoli chiefs he has still not signed a contract renewal and would be available on a free transfer next June.

There have been reports in recent days from Italy that Ghoulam will in fact sign a new contract, but the information from Le Buteur contradicts that and they have learned that Napoli will consider a January sale to avoid losing one of their best players for nothing.

The Algeria international has been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium before and there were even stories earlier this year that City had planned to exploit his contract stand-off by making a bid. In the end, the club signed Benjamin Mendy, but failed to sign a second natural left-back in the summer.

With Mendy due to miss most of, if not the entire season, it’s plausible that Guardiola will move for a left-back in January, and Ghoulam has the perfect profile, fully capable of playing out from the back and integrating into a complex system like the one utilised by Maurizio Sarri at the Stadio San Paolo.

Before any deal could potentially be done, Ghoulam is due to face City twice in the Champions League, with Napoli also in Group F. Like with Mendy last season, this will give Guardiola an opportunity to watch the player up close before potentially making a cut-price January bid for him.