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Arsenal set to launch €15 million Faouzi Ghoulam transfer bid

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The Gunners look like they're officially joining the race to see who can pry Napoli's best left back out of Italy.

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

It's looking increasingly likely that Napoli will struggle to retain Faouzi Ghoulam this summer. The high quality Algerian international left back has opened eyes ever since he first stepped on to the pitch of the Stadio San Paolo, and after his strong campaign this past season, it's little wonder that big clubs are circling around him.

Chelsea made a bid and were rebuffed, then interest grew from a variety of clubs around Europe. Now Arsenal seem to be standing at the forefront, with various reports Friday indicating that they're ready to launch their efforts to sign Ghoulam, starting with the same €15 million bid that Chelsea were turned down for.

As we touched on earlier in the week, Ghoulam makes a lot of sense for Arsenal. Of their two left backs, one is often hurt and the other hasn't lived up to expectations in England and seems likely to be sold this summer, so Ghoulam could be a good get for them as they try to pull closer to Chelsea in the title race.

While there are still some rumors of Chelsea wanting Ghoulam, it seems based on other transfer talk that their focus has shifted elsewhere in the left back market, so Napoli shouldn't have to worry about them for now. Which in some way is a shame -- a bidding war for Ghoulam's services could end up with a rather lovely transfer fee.

Obviously it would be preferable to keep Ghoulam -- he's very, very good and helps make Napoli a better team by being part of it. But with clubs of this size circling, his departure is beginning to look inevitable, so at least Napoli secured a capable replacement already after signing Ivan Strinic in the winter.