Transfer: Chelsea looking to sign Napoli defender


According to reports, Chelsea will bid for Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam in the upcoming January transfer window but the Blues will face stiff competition for his signature.

CHELSEA reportedly had a £24m swoop for Napoli star Faouzi Ghoulam snubbed in the summer and the Blues are ready to try their luck again in January, according to Algerian news outlet Le Buteur.

They claim that Antonio Conte is keen to bolster his ranks and has identified Ghoulam as an ideal candidate to add depth to his defence. Conte currently plays in a 3-4-3 formation where at the left full back side new signing Marcos Alonso plays. However Chelsea lacks squad depth in that position, Alonso is the only possible left-back in the team as former left-back plays in the right of the back three defence line.

Chelsea would have no dilemma matching the asking price of £24 million for the Algerian international, but Arsenal, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be keen on signing the left-back.

The Algerian is a good passer of the ball and loves to be in the support to involve in Napoli’s attack, so it is easy to see why Conte could be keen on snapping up the defender as a left fullback option. The defender has impressed in Serie A this season and has produced five assists in 17 appearances for the Naples-based side.

Ghoulam began his career at French club Saint-Etienne, before being signed by Rafa Benitez for Napoli. He has gone on to make 98 appearances for the Italian club and has become a pivotal member of their backline. Despite being born in France Ghoulam opted to join them and has also made 23 appearances for Algeria and scored 6 goals for his country. The left-back is contracted to Napoli until 2018, so until a huge bid arrives it is highly unlikely the Naples will let him go in the middle of the season.