Manchester United lining up Ghoulam as Luke Shaw’s replacement

Faouzi Ghoulam
Faouzi Ghoulam

According to RAI Sport, Manchester United are considering triggering Faouzi Ghoulam’s £52m release clause to bring him to Old Trafford, reports The S*n.

The 26-year-old, who joined Napoli from Ligue 1 side AS Saint-Etienne in 2014, has made over 150 appearances for the Serie A outfit, and has a contract until 2020. There are just days remaining of the January transfer window, and it appears Jose Mourinho wants another defender before he’s content.

He was a regular at left-back this season before rupturing his cruciate ligament, and has been regarded as one of the best in Europe. Ghoulam was named Algeria Footballer of 2017 by the hierarchy of the country’s top-flight clubs, and he’d be an improvement on Manchester United’s current options.

Mourinho has utilised Ashley Young as a makeshift left-back for the majority of the season, but Luke Shaw has recently worked his way back into the squad.  Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian can also operate in the role, but they’re far from trusted alternatives.

As a result, Napoli’s £52m defender is a target. United would have to meet his release clause if they want to sign him, as the Serie A side aren’t likely to sell him for less given his importance. His serious knee injury might halt negotiations this month, meaning any deal might have to be for the summer instead.

Stats from Transfermarkt.

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