Italian Football

Napoli Chief Recounts Lengthy Pursuit of Kvaratskhelia

Napoli manager, Cristiano Giuntoli, spoke about how the Khavisha-Kvaratskeli deal came to light, confirming what other people involved in the negotiations had indicated. The exec encountered Corriere dello Sport.

“The first time I noticed him was that he was on tape during the lockdown. He was 19, but the quality of his feet was already noticeable. Gennaro Gattuso was on the bench at that time and we both liked him. We called Kabar Kaladze to gather information. He moved to Lokomotiv Moscow but without leaving Imprint. Instead, he did better at Rubin Kazan. But they asked for 30 million euros, and we stopped our chase before the real negotiations began. We were chasing Victor Osimhen and we couldn’t spend much for him.”

Despite the early hiccups, Naples continued to follow Kvaratskhelia, whose addition was ultimately less expensive.

“He stuck in our minds. When the war broke out in Ukraine, he went back to Georgia in Dinamo Batumi, and we targeted him right away. We were faster than Juventus, Roma and Real Sociedad. We made the deal for 10 million euros. Luciano Spalletti signed him on the spot as well. I sent the player to visit him in Milan when he put his pen to paper. The challenge was not to get him, but to do so to replace Lorenzo Insigne. He earns in total €1.7 million, while our former star earns €9 million. It’s easy to do the math.”

The Azure Cut their salaries dramatically this summer.

“We had to risk abandoning the high-paid stars. The pandemic had weakened our finances, and we wanted to reverse this trend. In the end, some divorces were forced due to financial aspects. We preferred to invest in a young team.”

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