Napoli left back Faouzi Ghoulam is demanding a release clause of between €18m (£16.2m) to €20m (£18m) in his new contract, according to Italian TV pundit Enrico Fedele.
The 26 year old’s current deal expires in the summer, and he will be able to speak to clubs in January about moving on a free transfer at the end of the season. Reports in recent days have suggested Chelsea and Manchester City are watching the full back.
Fedele was speaking on Tuttomercatoweb radio’s Night Show when he revealed the main stumbling block in contract negotiations between the Algerian international and the Serie A league leaders:
“[With] Ghoulam, the difference is on the clause. From €30m to €35m [the club wants], against the €18m-€20m which the player wants… Unfortunately, Napoli have a certain length of time in negotiations but they always get themselves into trouble. I think he’s doing the same thing as Mertens. I have the fear that he may leave in the summer.”
Napoli striker Dries Mertens negotiated a new deal last May which means he can leave if a club offers just €28m next summer. The Belgian however still had more than 12 months on his contract left at the time, while Ghoulam has just nine months to run, and is in an even stronger position to get the buyout clause he wants.