Liverpool’s search for a new left-back could lead to a bid for Napoli’s Faouzi Ghoulam, with their pool of possible targets increasing.
Jurgen Klopp is seeking another option on the left defensive flank, with James Milner his current first choice in the role.
This summer is likely to see the out-of-favour Alberto Moreno depart, with the Reds having already rejected an £11 million offer from Napoli for the Spaniard.
With further interest from AC Milan, Inter Milan, Sevilla and two Premier League sides, Liverpool should secure a deal that matches their £15 million valuation before September.
And it could well be that they return for the Naples club’s current first-choice left-back, Algeria international Ghoulam.
The Mail claim that Ghoulam had already been “discussed” as a possible target by Klopp and his backroom staff, but talks with the Serie A side have revived their interest.
Ghoulam currently has one year left on his contract at Stadio San Paolo, which could provide Liverpool with an opening.
It is unlikely that a straight swap deal will be negotiated due to the complications involved, but Moreno moving to Napoli could certainly prompt Ghoulam to move in the other direction.
The 26-year-old is tentatively rumoured to be available for around £17 million, which would be a minor outlay if Liverpool sold Moreno.
Energetic, powerful and quick along the ground, Ghoulam is hitting his prime as a top-flight left-back, but there remain concerns over his defensive quality.
He has a strong work rate and his fitness levels allow him to surge forward and track back consistently, but he is not the most focused, possessing shades of Moreno’s game.
Klopp requires his full-backs to be comfortable in possession, and Ghoulam certainly is, but he’d arguably present familiar problems at the back.
Hull City‘s Andrew Robertson and Celtic’s Kieran Tierney have both been mooted as possible targets, too, but at this stage it seems likely that Milner will remain Liverpool’s first choice.
The Reds are currently pursuing big-name signings in other areas, namely centre-back, central midfield and out wide, with Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah in their sights.
A deal to bring Salah to Merseyside is nearly complete, with the winger set to join from AS Roma.
Chelsea striker Dominic Solanke is also poised to arrive on the expiry of his contract at Stamford Bridge, and should report for pre-season training at the beginning of July.