Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has admitted that he wouldn't stand in the way of star defender Faouzi Ghoulam if he decided to leave.

Ghoulam, along with Dries Mertens, are two of Napoli's best players and are also two of the most sought-out stars in Europe.


There is a €30m release clause in Mertens' current contract, but Ghoulam's deal expires at the end of the season and the Italian side have so far failed to agree an extension.

It is believed that a satisfactory release clause figure - for both parties - is the cause of the stalling in negotiations. But Napoli will need to act quickly as they could end up losing their star for nothing, given the expiry date on his contract.

The 26-year-old Algerian left-back has emerged as a target for Liverpool, as well as Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City. And the club's president, speaking in an interview, begrudgingly admitted that he would be powerless to stop the player from leaving.

“I would keep Ghoulam here forever”, De Laurentiis said to La Gazzetta dello Sport“However, if he wants a release clause I am going to decide it, not him. If he wants a very low release clause it means that he is fooling me out of me and I don’t want it. If we don’t find an agreement he can leave.

“As for Mertens he signed a contract extension months ago just like Insigne and Callejon. Reina? I stopped negotiations when his agent demanded a new three year deal.”