Manchester United are, according to Italian media, reportedly weighing up a sensational January move for Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, as their wide options continue to diminish. According to transfer expert, Ekrem Konur, the move would see United pay £40-50m to the Italian outfit for the Georgian, and they are prepared to throw in Jadon Sancho too to sweeten the deal.
The Reds are crying out for some star quality and consistency on the wings amid a series of off-the-pitch incidents that have seen certain individuals cast aside. Firstly, Mason Greenwood was sent to Granada on loan after fan backlash made the club u-turn on their initial decision to bring him back following domestic abuse allegations.
Secondly, Antony has been told to stay away from the United squad after similar domestic abuse allegations were thrown at him while Jadon Sancho's future at the club has been thrown into doubt after the winger posted a message on social media platform, X, accusing Erik Ten Hag of lying about the reason for the 23-year-old's absence from the matchday squad against Arsenal.
It means that Ten Hag is effectively limited to Marcus Rashford and two players under the age of 21 in Facundo Pellistri and Alejandro Garnacho. With United in the market for wingers, a move for Kvaratskhelia makes sense and if it does materialise in January then Ten Hag would have another world-class asset at his disposal.
What would Kvaratskhelia bring to Man Utd?
Last season represented something of a breakthrough season for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia after moving to Napoli from Dinamo Batumi in the summer of 2022. The Georgian then played a key role in bringing Napoli their first Serie A title in 33 years.
In total, Kvaratskhelia scored 14 goals and provided 17 assists in all competitions for Napoli last season although his form did tail off towards the back end of the campaign which derailed their bid to win a maiden Champions League title.
Kvaratskhelia's dribbling style and diminutive figure have seen some pundits compare the Georgian to Lionel Messi. As a result, a number of leading clubs were linked with a move for him this summer, including Manchester City and Barcelona.
If he was to move to Old Trafford in January then he would potentially have to alter his playing style. For Napoli, Kvaratskhelia operates exclusively from the left-hand side as it allows him to drift inside onto his stronger right foot. That position is currently occupied by Marcus Rashford and United's worries concern the right flank.
🚨🗣️ @MikeKeegan_DM: “It wouldn’t surprise me if Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was in the Premier League next season. I know he’s had admirers here, including Manchester United.” #MUFC pic.twitter.com/Z1BYCyCHKy
— mufcmpb (@mufcMPB) September 13, 2023
The end of the road for Sancho at Man Utd?
According to reports, Man Utd were open to selling Jadon Sancho to Saudi Arabia following his social media outburst but a move never materialised. As such, they will now likely try to move him on in January and this potential exchange with Napoli could represent a fresh start for the ex-Borussia Dortmund man.
After signing for the Reds for £72m in 2021, big things were expected but he has failed to get close to the heights he reached in Germany. There have been reported issues with timekeeping and discipline off the pitch, while he has looked like a man devoid of all confidence when on it.
Sancho remains vulnerable to a possible Turkey move before the window shuts on Friday, but this will be a far better deal for all concerned.