Manchester United are expected to sign Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam for £53m, according to various reports. The left-back has a £53million release clause and Napoli are on the verge of securing a replacement. Portuguese publication Record claim Alejandro Grimaldo is the Serie A club’s target and that the deal to bring the Benfica star to Italy is near completion.
Napoli will pay £26.6m for Grimaldo’s services and once the full-back puts pen to paper on a five-year deal, Ghoulam will be free to leave the club. United have been monitoring the French-born Algerian, but have had to fight off competition from Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Ghoulam signed a new long-term contract with Napoli at the start of December to extend his current deal to the summer of 2020. The long-term deal was a reaction to fend off interest from Liverpool. Manchester City have also been credited with an interest in Ghoulam, who impressed in the Champions League before getting injured.
United boss Jose Mourinho is widely reported to be in the market for a new left-back. Ashley Young has impressed for the Red Devils in a makeshift left-back role this season but the United boss is reluctant to continue playing the ageing England international out of position.
After United’s 2-0 victory over Everton on Monday, Mourinho confirmed that he may be forced to dip into the January transfer market.
Luke Shaw has recently made his way into the Portuguese manager’s first-team plans. Yet, the left-back, who has been unfortunate with injuries hampering his career, has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, while the likes of Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian remain out-of-favour.
It is believed that Mourinho is prepared to sell Shaw at the right price – especially with his interest in Tottenham’s Danny Rose. Apart from Rose, the 20-time English champions are also monitoring the progress of Fulham wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon.
The Guardian claim that the Championship club have informed the potential suitors that the 17-year-old sensation will be allowed to leave Craven Cottage for £30million in the January window.
As far as Ghoulam is concerned, the 26-year-old is currently sidelined after tearing his cruciate knee ligament last November.
Nevertheless, the injury setback will not discourage United in their pursuit of the Algerian international as he is recognised as one of Europe’s elite left-backs. He has already garnered a lot of interest from other big clubs and I think he’d be a good signing for us.