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United linked with big-money move for Napoli left-back

Faouzi Ghoulam reportedly has a £52.6million release clause.

SSC Napoli v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Time is running out before the transfer window slams shut, as it is wont to do, but that hasn’t stopped reports surfacing linking Manchester United with a big-money move for Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam. Italian BS merchants Rai Sport have suggested United are ready to pay the Algerian international’s £52.6million release clause, and their report has since been parroted in the Mirror.

The 26-year-old, who joined Napoli from Saint-Étienne in 2014, was enjoying a fine season at the San Paolo before injuring his anterior cruciate ligament against Manchester City in November. Remarkably he’s already back in training, and should be ready for first-team action soon, but it remains to be seen if he’s going to be able to recover his top form.

That didn’t stop Napoli agreeing to renew his contract in December, with his new deal now running all the way to 2022. If Ghoulam manages to get back to his best, he’d certainly be an upgrade on Luke Shaw, but it remains a very big if. We’d be surprised if this deal really were to happen — at least in the next four days. Perhaps Mourinho will check back in again in the summer.