Napoli’s left-sided full-back Faouzi Ghoulam has been in stellar form since his arrival to the Italian club in 2014. His consistent performances have garnered plenty of attention from other clubs, and have naturally also lead to discussions of an improved contract.
However, Napoli’s initial offer has been rejected by the Algerian international and his entourage. The numbers of Napoli’s offer are being widely reported as a 100% increase on Ghoulam’s current wages of £15,000, but they are asking for £40,000 and the inclusion of a buy-out clause set at £34m. The buy-out is reasonable considering the likes of Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich have been reported to have interest.
The left-back will be involved in the African Cup of Nations tournament in January, making an immediate move unlikely. If a new deal is not agreed by the end of the season however, a sale would become a strong possibility, as the player would be approaching the final year of his contract. That said, dealing with Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is never that straightforward.
Chelsea are clearly on the lookout for full-back depth. Marcos Alonso has emerged as the first-choice left wingback, but has no clear backup. Ghoulam is just the latest name to be thus linked with the Blues, following rumors of Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez, Juventus’s Alex Sandro, Genoa’s Diego Laxalt, just to name a few.