Napoli extended Faouzi Ghoulam’s contract in December to ward off interest from Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, according to reports in Italy.
Two months ago, Napoli handed Ghoulam a contract extension to 2022.
It was a relatively surprising decision, as the left-back suffered a cruciate ligament rupture at the start of November. He’s still out but as the initial prognosis was a three-month spell out, it should not be long until he returns.
Saturday’s La Gazzetta dello Sport claim the Serie A side were trying to “avoid any surprises”, after hearing of interest from Arsenal, along with the two Ligue 1 clubs.
They offered the Algerian a salary of €3m plus bonuses, which he accepted.
Still, that doesn’t totally exclude the possibility of Arsenal making a summer move for the 27-year-old.
Napoli also put a €35m release clause in the defender’s contract for overseas clubs.
If Arsene Wenger really does want to sign the player, that’s not a ridiculous amount to pay in today’s market.
Before the injury, Ghoulam was a regular in the Napoli starting eleven.
He played the full 90 minutes in 15 of their 16 matches since the start of the campaign.
How he returns from injury over the coming months, however, will probably determine whether Arsenal make a move this summer.