The Saint-Etienne full-back has attracted considerable interest on the transfer market since the fall – racking up four assists in 17 Ligue 1 appearances this term.
First linked with Manchester United in late October, reports have since suggested that AS Roma, Everton and Sevilla have also been keen on acquiring his services.
Ghoulam – previously seen as a potentially successor to contract rebel Patrice Evra by some surrounding Old Trafford – indicated in December his willingness to remain at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Suitors seemingly haven’t been put off by such talk, however, spurred on by a potential bargain signing as Roma appeared poised to make a move last week.
Yet it’s the Giallorossi’s Serie A rivals Napoli who have emerged in pole position for the Algeria international, having swooped in to snap up the 22-year-old.
On Wednesday morning Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio maintained that president Aurelio De Laurentiis had dispatched a representative to France to open negotiations.
Progress seems to have come at a rapid rate – the Italian transfer expert contending just hours later that the San Paolo giants have already tabled a bid of €3.5m.
Saint-Etienne are reportedly yet to supply a response to the offer – with Napoli willing to raise the offer to just over €4m to secure the deal’s completion.
Boss Rafael Benitez has been understood to require reinforcements in the full-back position – all of his options out wide in defence being natural wing-backs, save emergency free agent signing Anthony Reveillere.
image: © MJwho