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SOCCER

How much would Liverpool and Chelsea target Khvicha Kvaratskhelia cost?

Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia made an impression in Tuesday’s Champions League game at Anfield. The Italians would in for a windfall if they decide to cash in on him next summer.

Update:
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Napoli (R) in action during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield on November 1, 2022 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Cristiano Mazzi/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Eurasia Sport ImagesGetty

Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has caught the eye of several top clubs in Europe during the four months he has spent in Italy. Liverpool and Chelsea are the latest to be linked with the 21-year-old, who joined Napoli from Dinamo Batumi in July for a reported 10 million euros. Kvaratskhelia’s natural position is out wide on the left, hugging the touchline but he is happy shooting with either foot or swapping over to the opposite flank. He has impressed with his short bursts of acceleration, changing pace in an instant to beat his man, and also with his canny footwork - all of the qualities that would make him fit like a glove into Klopp’s set-up at Liverpool. The Reds have Luis Díaz in that role right now, and there are similarities between the two, although Klopp is expected to rethink his system when the squad undergoes a major overhaul next summer. Physically more powerful than Díaz, Kvaratskhelia - or Kvaradona as Napoli tifosi call him, would be an alternative on the left.

Potter planning revamp

At Chelsea, new manager Graham Potter is also hoping to beef up his attack in next summer’s transfer window and Kvaratskhelia was linked to the Blues after an old photograph of the player as a teenager wearing a Chelsea kit was posted on social media.

Much of Napoli’s dazzling form in Europe and Serie A has been down to Kvaratskhelia and his link-up play with El Cholito Simeone and Giacomo Raspadori. Luciano Spalletti’s team breezed through the Champions League group stage, losing just one game - the dead rubber Matchday 6 meeting with Liverpool. Domestically, they are unbeaten in Serie A and have a comfortable, five-point lead at the top of the table. Kvaratskhelia’s contribution has been eight goals and 11 assists.

Kvaratskhelia now worth 10 times what Napoli paid for him

The way it is looking, this could turn out to be a very fruitful season for Spalletti’s side. If the team enjoys success, that might make the club more determined to hang onto to Kvaratskhelia or at least, reluctant to sell. Napoli are through to the Last 16 in the Champions League after a spectacular group stage campaign and await their next rivals in Monday’s draw. There’s no way Napoli would offload any of their key players in the January window as Kvaratskhelia’s agent Christian Emile admitted in an interview with Fabrizio Romano, adding that the player’s market value is now upwards of €100 million. For potential suitors Liverpool, who will be in need of at least two midfielders next summer, that would involve breaking the club transfer record, which stands at €84.65 million, which they paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk.

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