FC Barcelona are targeting the signing of a player known as the ‘Georgian Messi’ in Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, according to El Nacional.
The Blaugrana received a reinforcement in attacking midfield this month with the last minute signing of Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid.
As the deal is only a loan, however, with Felix renewing terms at the Metropolitano until 2029 before departing for Catalonia, it will be difficult to negotiate an affordable fee to purchase the 23-year-old outright – especially when considering that Atleti paid €126 million ($135 million) to Benfica for him at the turn of the decade.
Felix’s expected departure at the end of 2023/2024 will again leave a hole in Xavi’s squad when it comes to players who can occupy the left flank.
Ez Abde is gone for good and will now ply his trade at Real Betis. Furthermore, Xavi’s treatment of Ansu Fati which concluded with the number 10 heading to Brighton in the Premier
This is where Kvaratskhelia could come in. Helping Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years last season, the ‘Georgian Messi’ was one of Europe’s biggest breakout stars with 12 goals and 13 assists while also pivotal in Gli Azzurri reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.
Other outfits have been interested in the 22-year-old too of course, among them Liverpool, Newcastle United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid this summer to name a few.
It is believed that it will take a bid of at least €100 million ($107 million) to get Napoli to the negotiating table, and with Barca’s economic issues well-documented, raising such funds will be a push.
The Catalans could be in much better financial shape a year from now, however, and lucrative player sales might be possible as well.
With Lamine Yamal currently pushing the Brazilian out of the first XI, Raphinha could be moved on to a Saudi or Premier League club where Public Investment Fund-owned Newcastle United were previously preparing an €80 million ($86 million) bid for him according to Mundo Deportivo.
Fati’s stock might also rise after a year in the English top flight making a permanent outgoing transfer easier, and Robert Lewandowski may also move to the Middle East providing increased spending money.