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Rumour Mongering: Liverpool Propose Napoli Left Back Swap

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After rejecting Napoli’s Alberto Moreno bid, the rumour mongers have concocted a swap for Faouzi Ghoulam.

SSC Napoli v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Liverpool are trying to offload Alberto Moreno, and Napoli are interested, having made a £11M offer for the player. Liverpool, though are holding out for nearer £15M for the out of favour Spaniard. They are also in the market for a left back of their own, though there remains some uncertainty about the kind of target.

It could be a youngster who will arrive to back up James Milner, a player like Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon—though Liverpool signalled they were moving on from the youngster when it became clear to them that he favoured a Tottenham move. Or it could be a bigger name, like Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy, meant to start.

It could also, if the latest rumours from Italy and the English tabloids are to be believed, be a more modest veteran signing who would compete for the job with Milner. And, rather conveniently, Napoli have just such a player in 26-year-old Faouzi Ghoulam. Given Napoli’s interest in Moreno, a player swap seems obvious.

Or at least it does to the rumour mongers, even if in reality such deals rarely come off. Still, according to The Mail and a smattering of Italian outlets, Liverpool have had their eye on Ghoulam since Klopp arrived, and Napoli’s Moreno interest could help motivate them to turn that into something more serious.

Ghoulam, a French-born Algerian international, moved to Napoli in 2014 in a €5M deal. In the three seasons since, he has made 135 total appearances for the Serie A side, including 36 last season with 28 coming in the league. He has never scored a goal for Napoli, and before that with Saint-Etienne managed a single marker.

However, he did register ten assists last season, and has 19 in total at Napoli, a fair reflection of a player who likes to stay wide and, though he is not exceptionally pacy, is a capable crosser and is solid defensively. As such, he would be a far more conservative type of left back than the likes of Sessegnon or Mendy.

That might appeal to some fans, but it does raise question marks about the legitimacy of rumours of Liverpool’s interest—if the very notion of a player swap hadn’t already—given the more widely reported targets so far have been more adventurous. Still, he’s a signing that would at least solidify the club’s left back situation.