Chelsea have reportedly stepped up their interests for Arsenal target Faouzi Ghoulam. The 24 year old who had a terrific year with Napoli last season is the subject of a transfer war between the two London clubs. Arsene Wenger is believed to have been keeping tabs on the Napoli defender as a replacement for Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal who is reported to be making a potential switch to Athletic Bilbao.
Unfortunately it seems Arsene Wenger wasted too much time scouting for the player rather than making an offer which might come back to haunt the Gunners boss as Chelsea have intensified their efforts to sign Ghoulam as a replacement for Filipe Luis who re-joined his former team Atletico Madrid after spending just one year at the Bridge.
Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri knows the difficult task that lies ahead in trying to keep the Algerian. He said . “We are going to really struggle if Ghoulam leaves now. I have no replacement for him, especially as Strinic is yet to recover from injury,” he said.“We need his services as we don’t have enough back-up solutions. Ghoulam has a huge potential, he has plenty of room for improvement, especially defensively. I will be very disappointed if he leaves us.”
The Algerian full-back has impressed Napoli fans over the years with his renowned passing and ability to break up attacks. The 24 year old is also a strong presence in the air winning 64% of his aerial duels last season. Offensively, Ghoulam is seen as a constant threat creating 23 chances for Napoli last season in the Serie A. Given the competitive history between the two London clubs and the beef between Wenger and Mourinho, the race to sign Faouzi Ghoulam will definitely go down to the wire.