Man Utd hold talks over transfer for £52m left-back target

Manchester United are preparing their first bid to sign Napoli star Faouzi Ghoulam, according to reports in France.

Ghoulam has made 151 appearances for Napoli since 2014 but the 27-year-old left-back has been heavily linked with a switch to Old Trafford since the turn of the year.

Liverpool and Chelsea have also registered an interest in the Algerian but United are understood to have held talks with the player’s agent Jorge Mendes over a summer move.

RMC suggests the Red Devils have been monitoring the full-back for some time and are readying an offer, believed to be around £26million, which will be made in the coming weeks.

Ghoulam, whose current Napoli contract expires in 2022, is currently on the sidelines with a knee injury he sustained in November.

With Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind’s futures at Old Trafford all in doubt Jose Mourinho is expected to be on the hunt for an experienced replacement and Ghoulam could fit the bill.

Catalan newspaper Sport and Italian sources Rai Sport and Tuttosport all reported Ghoulam was close to signing for Manchester United in January.

The Algeria international, who is believed to have a £52.6million release clause, signed a new five-year contract at the Stadio San Paolo in December, but his time in Naples looks to be over.