Premier League • England

Arsenal to break transfer record for second time this summer with stunning winger raid aided by new connection

Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah

Arsenal have become contenders to sign Khvicha Kvaratskhelia from Napoli thanks to two factors that may work in their favour, a report has claimed.

Kvaratskhelia was named Serie A’s Most Valuable Player and the Champions League’s Young Player of the Season for 2022-23 after an exceptional debut season with Napoli. He provided more assists than any other player in the Italian top flight.

At various points throughout the season, the Georgia international was heralded as one of the world’s most in-form players. As such, Napoli have been expecting interest in his services this summer.

They have so far responded by preparing a new contract for him. In turn, their asking price for a summer transfer would be high. However, it is now being claimed that Arsenal might test their resolve.

According to Football Transfers, Arsenal have registered their interest in Kvaratskhelia. To sign him, they may have to break their transfer record for the second time this summer after recently buying Declan Rice from West Ham for up to £105million.

But the report claims there are a couple of reasons Arsenal are allowing themselves to dream of a deal for Kvaratskhelia.

First, they think that the likelihood of Victor Osimhen staying at Napoli could cause the Serie A champions to be more receptive to big offers for Kvaratskhelia instead.

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And second, Napoli have recently appointed Mauro Meluso as their new sporting director. Formerly with Spezia, Meluso tipped Arsenal off about Jakub Kiwior, whom they went on to sign in January.

Arsenal could take advantage of their connection to Meluso in order to try and win the race for Kvaratskhelia.

Napoli aiming to keep Kvaratskhelia

However, like Osimhen, Napoli maintain that the 22-year-old is not for sale. It would take a serious statement of intent by Arsenal to change their minds.

As stated, Napoli are optimistic of tying down Kvaratskhelia to an improved contract. Therefore, they will be hoping he can enjoy a second season with them and more.

Kvaratskhelia played almost exclusively as a left winger during the 2022-23 campaign. In that position, Arsenal already have Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard. Therefore, there could be intense competition for places.

Newcastle have also been linked with Kvaratskhelia this summer thanks to their huge financial backing. The prospect of Arsenal completing his signing still seems fairly far-fetched, but it might be something to keep an eye on nevertheless.

Both of those Premier League suitors have secured Champions League participation for the new season, which matches what would be on offer to Kvaratskhelia at his new club.

Napoli have already lost one of their influential 2022 signings after Bayern Munich activated the release clause of defender Kim Min-jae. Therefore, it would be a major blow for the Partenopei to be deprived of another after their best season since the Diego Maradona era.