Faouzi Ghoulam has insisted he never had any intentions of quitting Napoli this January, despite being linked with a £35million move to the Premier League.
The Algerian full-back had emerged as a possible target for both Liverpool and Manchester City in January, with Jurgen Klopp seeking a long-term solution to his left-back issues and Pep Guardiola seeking cover for the injured Benjamin Mendy.
Ghoulam had had just six months remaining on his Napoli deal, but has instead put pen to paper on an extension – and he insists he never had any plans to quit the Stadio San Paolo.
“I never thought of leaving. I had decided to stay at Napoli a long time ago,” Ghoulam told Il Mattino.
“The directors knew I never thought of leaving.
“I stayed for that thing there [the Scudetto]. Napoli have given me everything, they transformed but me but they also made me superstitious – the fans don’t want to say that word and I won’t say it.”
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The left-back joined Napoli from St Etienne in 2013 and has gone on to make 151 appearances for the club, scoring just twice.