Wednesday Feb 28, 2018. 19:00
With Faouzi Ghoulam still sidelined as he recovers from the fractured kneecap he suffered earlier this month, the agent of his ‘understudy’ Mario Rui has spoken out.
Left-back Rui, who is on loan at Napoli from Roma, has enjoyed an extended spell in the Serie A leader’s first team due to Ghoulam’s absence since November.
The 26-year-old has done a fine job, yet it is Ghoulam who has been both received a lucrative new contract from the club and been linked with end-of-season moves to major clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester United.
Even Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri has insinuated that Ghoulam is at a higher level than Rui, leaving the Portuguese’s agent to reveal that the left-back may not stay at the club once his loan spell is complete.
“It is irritating to say he is Ghoulam’s understudy, as Mario Rui is second to nobody. He is a first choice player in a big club and can in future be first choice at other big clubs. There’s nothing to say he will remain at Napoli, because many things can happen in life,” agent Mario Giuffredi told RMC Sport.
“I repeat: there is nothing to say he’ll remain at Napoli. There are few full-backs out there with his quality and with what he’s doing now, we could see a big splash on the transfer market.
“We had already made a decision on his future on November 1, so we already know what we want to do for next season. Right now, the important thing is to do well on the pitch.
“There is no agreement with other clubs, but in the first few months Mario Rui was torn to shreds and many times the criticism was offensive. When unfortunately Ghoulam was injured, then he had the chance to prove his worth.
“I won’t talk about the transfer market now, but if you ask me what we’ll do next year, I tell you it has all been decided back in November.”