The Italian media are growing increasingly concerned Serie A will lose the ‘world’s best player’, and Liverpool have been touted for a huge coup that would stump Manchester United.
Both Liverpool and Man Utd may have holes to fill in their wide berths over the next 12 months. Saudi Arabian interest in Mohamed Salah will not subside and come either the January or summer windows, there may be more clubs interested than just Al-Ittihad.
Over at Old Trafford uncertainty surrounds the futures of both Antony and Jadon Sancho. It’s not inconceivable that one or even both of United’s troubled wingers leave the club within the next year.
As such, signing a readymade winger who can make an instant impact may soon be top of the agenda at United and Liverpool.
One player who’s already proven he’s capable of filling any void is Napoli ace, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
The Georgian, 22, was simply sensational when helping fire Napoli to their first top flight title since 1990 last term. As a result, Napoli firmly believe that in Kvaratskhelia they possess the world’s best player right here and now.
Kvaratskhelia led the league in assists with 13 last term. He racked up three separate player of the month awards in Serie A, was named in the league’s team of the season and also scooped the Serie A most valuable player award.
Kvaratskhelia operates primarily on the left flank, though his two-footedness mean he’s also capable of playing on the right.
The Daily Mail recently claimed Kvaratskhelia moving to the Premier League is a distinct possibility in 2024. Man Utd were named as a potential suitor amid their ongoing Antony and Sancho situations.
However, in quotes carried by SportNapoli, Luca Marchetti of Sky Italia has backed Liverpool to cause both United and Napoli a problem.
Of course, any Reds move is likely to be contingent on Salah leaving. But if the Egyptian ace is lured to Saudi Arabia, signing Kvaratskhelia would be a huge statement of intent, not least because he’s likely to cost in excess of £100m.
From Napoli’s perspective, it’s understood they hope to tie the Georgian down to a new and improved deal. However, it’s acknowledged even a greatly increased salary would pale in comparison to the level of wages Liverpool could offer.
Kvaratskhelia to Liverpool talked up
“It is necessary to resolve the issue to face the next transfer windows with greater confidence,” said Marchetti.
“When you have a low salary compared to other top European players you are more vulnerable, because if elsewhere they offer double, it is different than when they offer quadruple. And this doesn’t just apply to Saudi Arabia.
“From a strategic point of view, it is right to renew the contract, because it would give Napoli greater strength in negotiations. It’s also fair for what the players have shown.
“Kvara has a significant salary, but after what he has shown, his salary does not fully reflect his value.
“Can Napoli offer €2.5m net? It is the figure from which to start negotiations.
“If Liverpool arrive and it’s been talked about recently, why sell Mo Salah, what would you do? Salah, at Liverpool, certainly doesn’t earn €3m… We need to protect Kvara and show him due recognition.”
Kvaratskhelia’s current deal doesn’t expire until 2027. As such, all eyes will be on how big the salary increase is – rather than how many years are tacked on – in the event a new contract in Naples is agreed.
If Liverpool lose Salah and Man Utd ditch Antony or Sancho, Kvaratskhelia’s future in 2024 will be a hot topic.