Monreal is wanted by Bilbao. [Picture: Getty]
Arsenal fans may have to dispel any thoughts of seeing Algerian defender Faouzi Ghoulam in Arsenal colours next season as Napoli have stated that the left-back is not going anywhere.
Arsenal are understood to be in the hunt for a replacement for fans favourite Nacho Monreal who has been strongly linked with a move to Athletic Bilbao, and Ghoulam seemed to be their ideal target; But the Gunners will now have to consider other options with Napoli’s latest stance.
Sporting director of the Serie A side Cristiano Giuntoli was quoted by popular Italian media outfit Calciomercato as saying Ghoulam would remain at the club 100%.
“Ghoulam will remain in Naples 100 per cent and will not move,” he said.
Metro had claimed that Arsenal made a bid for the defender and despite Giuntoli admitting there were clubs after Ghoulam, he made it quite clear there was little chance of the player leaving the Stadio San Paolo.
“Offers? Who would come forward? Arsenal and Atletico? Of course there are clubs interested in Faouzi, it is logical for a player of this value, but nothing more.
“If we got an offer we would take care to examine it and talk about it with the player. Ghoulam is an important player and will be one of the key elements for Napoli next season.”
Arsenal have only been able to seal one high profile transfer this summer with the arrival of Chelsea’s Petr Cech to the Emirates.
Manager Arsene Wenger assured fans recently via Arsenal’s official website that the club would be looking to sign more quality players depending on their availability. But it now appears that those additions may not come anytime soon.
If Arsenal fails to sign Ghoulam or another left-back, they may be forced to keep Monreal at the Emirates as he approaches the final year of his contract with Kieran Gibbs being the only cover for the position.
Despite the possibilities of Ghoulam’s transfer appearing bleak, the attraction of Champions League football may be the final bargaining chip that may rekindle the move for the Algerian, with Napoli having failed to qualify.