The Pride of London offer comment because Chelsea have reportedly joined Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Newcastle United in the chase to sign 22-year-old Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. In addition to that, PoL talk about a report suggesting that Manchester United will imitate the contemporary Chelsea Football Club model under Sir Jim Ratcliffe if and when the billionaire takes over footballing operations at Old Trafford.
ESPN sources have apparently revealed that the Blues are after a new wingman. A host of top European sides are monitoring the player, including Newcastle United and Man City. Kvaratskhelia managed a stunning 25 goal involvements in 2022/23 as Napoli won Serie A. In this campaign he has already produced seven combined league assists and goals from a mere 11 fixtures.
A move for Kvaratskhelia would be in line with Chelsea’s strategy of pursuing young players with big potential.
However, Napoli are in a strong position to resist any formal offers given the Georgia winger is contracted to the club until 2027 and talks are said to be progressing well over a new contract on improved terms.
Sources have indicated Napoli value Kvaratskhelia in excess of €100 million ($124.8m) and although Chelsea would not be put off by that valuation in theory, they have minimal headroom within Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules. Additionally, their 2024 budget will depend on various factors including which — if any — European competition they qualify for next season.
Chelsea also have other priorities in the transfer market with the club eyeing Kvaratskhelia’s Napoli teammate Victor Osimhen among a list of forwards which also contains Brentford striker Ivan Toney.
I don’t think that many people thought Manchester United were, or would be, in the same heavy transitional period as Chelsea this season. But I would assert that the north English team have gone backwards. Regression. That same effect may have taken place at Stamford Bridge had Mauricio Pochettino not fortunately arrived.
Erik ten Hag is probably the right man for the job at MCFC, as Pochettino is at CFC. However, due to a change of Red Devils ownership, or a controlling stake, it is really anyone’s guess whether or not ten Hag will even be there for long. My presumption is that the Dutchman will eventually be successful at United. I just can’t imagine which it’ll be: mildly or wildly triumphant.
Once Ratcliffe takes the reins at one of the world’s greatest clubs, he might create a similar structure and approach to Boehly’s Blues in an attempt to reignite the formerly aspirational MUFC ethos. There is more about the Ineos boss’s supposed plans to ‘copy’ Chels’ here.