According to reports across Italy this afternoon, Manchester City are preparing a winter move for Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam.
Ghoulam, a 26-year-old Algerian international, has long been regarded as one of the finest full-backs in Serie A, with his lung-busting runs up and down Napoli’s left flank having proven crucial to the fortunes of Maurizio Sarri’s men over recent seasons.
The dynamic African notched 6 assists in the Italian top-flight last season, and has already racked up a further 2 goals and 3 assists during the current campaign, helping the Partenopei to a perfect 8 wins from 8 and 1st place in the Serie A table.
Pep Guardiola is rumoured to be a long-time admirer of the talents of Ghoulam, and had the chance to watch the former Saint-Etienne star up close this past week, as his side went head to head with Napoli in the Champions League.
The Citizens emerged with a hard-fought 2-1 victory, with Guardiola reportedly having once again been impressed by the performance of Ghoulam.
City’s need for left-back reinforcements has been heightened by the long-term injury suffered by big-money summer signing Benjamin Mendy, who is expected to be out until April after tearing his cruciate ligament versus Crystal Palace last month.
And, as per a growing number of outlets across Italy, Ghoulam is the man whom Guardiola has earmarked as his first-choice signing to cover for the Frenchman.
The Sky Blues will reportedly make a formal offer upon the opening of the winter transfer market in January, though Napoli are expected to put up strong resistance, with Maurizio Sarri extremely keen to see his African stopper’s contract at the San Paolo extended.