Napoli is reportedly rivaling Manchester City and Manchester United in the chase for Espanyol's 20-year-old left-back Aaron Martin.

By 90Min
November 17, 2017

Napoli are reportedly rivaling Manchester City and Manchester United in the chase for Espanyol's 20-year-old left-back Aaron Martin ahead of the upcoming winter transfer window. 

The Serie A leaders are on the lookout for a new defender as Faouzi Ghoulam has seen his hopes of playing a part in Napoli's title race drastically interrupted after picking up a bad cruciate ligament injury. 

Spanish media outlet Sport (via Corriere dello Sport) reports that Espanyol's talented player could be brought in to fill Ghoulam's vacated role, although Pep Guardiola is thought to be equally determined to secure him in January. 

Napoli not only would have to compete with the Premier League leaders, but could also be disadvantaged by Martin's release clause, which is thought to be worth around €30m - a price that the Serie A giants might not be willing to pay. 

The Spanish club's sports director Jordi Lardin was questioned on the interest in Martin by website AS.

"We do not need to sell anyone at the moment. If we receive an offer that could satisfy our request, and will allow us to earn enough to invest in new players, then we won't have any problem in sending him [Martin] away," he explained.

"Clubs interested in Aaron need to be willing to pay between €25-30m in order to sign him, which is a fair request. Clearly, a Champions League outfit would be facilitated on this occasion."

Although his contract doesn't expire until 2020, Martin could be tempted by the prospect of Champions League football with either Manchester City, United or Napoli in January. 

Guardiola is on the lookout for more options after Benjamin Mendy, like Ghoulam at Napoli, suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury, while Mourinho is in the market for a defender to take the place of the unfancied Luke Shaw. 

Real Madrid were also thought to be part of the bidding clubs, but eventually dropped their interest since securing Theo Hernandez in the summer. 

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