Napoli won’t take any chances regarding Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s future after being informed of Newcastle United’s interest in their marquee winger.
According to TuttoMercatoWeb, the Georgia international’s agent met the Partenopei chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis on Monday to discuss a contract renewal.
The pair were spotted sitting next to each other during Napoli’s pre-season friendly against lower-league SPAL as they resumed talks over Kvaratskhelia’s new deal.
Despite only joining Napoli from Georgian outfit Dinamo Batumi last summer, the 22-year-old is already among the fan favourites at the Diego Maradona Stadium.
Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen forged a stellar attacking partnership to inspire the club to their first Serie A title in 33 years last season.
While the Nigerian topped the league’s scoring charts in his best individual season to date, the skilled winger’s dazzling performances featured 14 goals and 17 assists in 43 competitive appearances.
He has another four years left to run on his current contract at Napoli, but the newly-crowned Serie A champions want to reward him with a new bumper deal.
Their ambition to extend the forward’s salary isn’t entirely altruistic, as they also fear his relatively humble wages could expose them to more lucrative foreign bids.
Newcastle reportedly made an audacious attempt to sign Kvaratskhelia in mid-July, submitting a monstrous €95 million offer, only to see De Laurentiis knock it back instantly.
Encouraged by Sandro Tonali’s mega-money arrival from AC Milan, the Magpies hope to complete another piece of business in Italy, but Napoli are reluctant to let that happen.
Kvaratskhelia was fundamental to Luciano Spalletti’s tactics last term, and nothing should change under Rudi Garcia’s stewardship, especially with the Partenopei staying notably quiet in the transfer window.
Despite ending a three-decade Scudetto drought, they’ve barely made any moves to improve Garcia’s squad while defender Kim Min-jae has joined Bayern Munich.
Napoli won’t let another indispensable first-team star leave in the summer, even though Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen have a host of admirers across Europe.
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