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Manchester United more likely to sign Faouzi Ghoulam over Manchester City this summer

Manchester United have emerged as the favourites to sign Faouzi Ghoulam from Napoli this summer, according to reports. It has been said before that both United and Manchester City would battle for the left-back this summer after he had attracted a lot of interest from the Premier League. The 27-year-old suffered a season-ending injury earlier in the campaign after a good start for his club.

City made their interest in Ghoulam known last summer and were wanting to do a deal a year ago, despite signing Benjamin Mendy. The Algerian has not played for his club since November 2017 when he suffered a knee ligament tear then, on his return to training, he broke his kneecap in February 2018. Il Mattino in Italy state that United were going to enter the race to sign Ghoulam in the coming two months.

United manager Jose Mourinho has been aware that he needs to sign a new left-back at the club this summer, ruling Luke Shaw out of a chance to earn a place with Ashley Young a player who has become the main left-back this season, despite Shaw impressing at times, not consistently though. Of course, it is possible that Young will return to a more attacking role next season with Shaw and a new left-back challenging each other, which will bring out the best of both – if he remains at United.

United have also held an interest in Tottenham Hotspur left-back Danny Rose, also Juventus left-back Alex Sandro, who has not been called up for Brazil’s World Cup squad this summer. It is said Rose would cost around £50 million, Ghoulam would be a bit less, around £44 million. Sandro, who is reportedly close to signing for United, according to some sources, would probably cost a big fee too, but United do need the experience and defensive ability in this position ahead of the new season.

Ghoulam is said to have everything Mourinho will require from his left-back, his energetic displays up and down the flank, his defensive ability and his ability to attack, which is what a left-sided player would need to do. Manchester City may still be interested in Ghoulam with Benjamin Mendy spending the majority of the season on the sidelines and Pep Guardiola having a makeshift left-back in Fabian Delph, it could see the Premier League champions swoop for Ghoulam this summer.

Napoli will be preparing to see many of their best players leave the club this summer after falling short in their Serie A campaign with manager Maurizio Sarri also a target for Chelsea as they bid to replace Antonio Conte, two years after his arrival in London where he was suggested to be better than both Mourinho and Guardiola, winning the Premier League in his debut season, but losing is massively this season, even falling short for a UEFA Champions League place.

I would prefer Luke Shaw to do what he needs to do to become a player that will be a stalwart at the Old Trafford club but the criticism from Mauricio Pochettino, Roy Hodgson, Louis van Gaal and Mourinho suggests the problems that Shaw faces are not the fault of anyone other than himself. He is a talent and was tipped to be the left-back at United and for England for a generation. Missing the FIFA World Cup this summer could be something which inspires him to do better, as could a change of scenery. It is a shame though.

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