Faouzi Ghoulam
Faouzi Ghoulam celebrates after scoring for Saint Etienne. [Reuters]

Manchester United face stiff competition from Roma as both clubs look to convince Saint-Etienne left-back Faouzi Ghoulam to end his near fifteen year association with the Ligue 1 side.

Ghoulam joined the club back in 1999 when he was just eight years old and has gone on to become one of the most highly-rated players at St.Etienne after forcing his way into the first team back in 2010.

The 22 year old has featured regularly in the last two seasons, with his terrific form earning him an international call-up for Algeria, despite the fact he had plated twice for France at Under-21 level.

Last season he helped St. Etienne win the League Cup but there has been increased speculation that he could leave at the end of the season as he is yet to extend his current contract which runs out next summer.

A proposed move to Torino collapsed last summer but now it seems it is Manchester United and Roma vying for his services, with France Football revealing that the Italian club are the early favourites to win the race for his signature.

Ghoulam had been linked with a move to Old Trafford as it has been suggested that he could be a long-term replacement for Patrice Evra, and he has admitted that he was pleased to be linked with such a big club.

"I would love to finish the season here now, it has been a very difficult time for me in the summer with the Torino affair. However, things go quickly in football so we never know what is next," said Ghoulam.

"Manchester United? You are always flattered when such a big club is linked with you but I do not want to dream, the reality is to give 100 per-cent for St Etienne and see what will happen next."

While the young defender is out of contract next summer a club would still have to pay a relatively small compensation fee which is believed to be in the region of €3m.

This small fee could well lead to offers arriving from Manchester and Rome next summer and it will likely be down to Ghoulam as to which club he feels can help him further his career.