Italian journalist Ciro Venerato has revealed Manchester United had agreed on a €60m deal with Napoli for full-back Faouzi Ghoulam, only for an injury to scupper the move.
Ghoulam has been at Napoli since 2014 after completing a £4.54m deal from AS Saint-Étienne on deadline day of the January transfer window that year.
He’s enjoyed himself at the Italian club, establishing himself as a starting player under several managers over the years.
That had often seen him linked with a big-money move away, particularly to the Premier League, with Manchester United often named as suitors.
Indeed, back in 2018, we covered numerous reports about a potential move to Old Trafford, with rumours claiming United had made a €45m bid and offered him a €6m salary.
Ultimately that move never happened, and he stayed at the club, continuing to shine before a succession of injuries limited his game time.
This year has been a particularly frustrating one for him, though, as he’s managed just seven appearances and 333 minutes of football in total.
This summer could see him moved on and, when discussing his future, Venerato claims Manchester United’s bid went much higher than what was reported.
“Napoli had sold Faouzi Ghoulam to Manchester United for an amount equal to €60m”, he told Goal Show, relayed by Area Napoli.
“Mendes, on behalf of the Neapolitan company, had blocked another very good full-back for €30m: Grimaldo.
“But then the double deal didn’t go through because Ghoulam was injured.”