Leeds United have reportedly moved into pole position to sign talented 21-year-old Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia this summer.
According to 90 min, Leeds United are among the favourites to sign Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who is set to leave Rubin Kazan in the summer transfer window.
The 21-year-old has emerged as one of the most promising prospects in Europe in recent seasons. However, with clubs now allowed to sign players from Russian or Ukrainian clubs following the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Georgian international has gone back to his homeland to Dinamo Batumi.
Kvaratskhelia has featured in 73 competitive matches for Rubin Kazan since joining on a Bosman move from Georgian outfit Rustavi, scoring nine goals and setting up 18 more during. The explosive winger has also caught the eye on the international stage, notching up five goals from 13 caps for Georgia.
However, the unprecedented situation between Russia and Ukraine means the player has now suspended ties with Rubin Kazan, joining Dinamo Batumi recently. But this switch must be regarded as a bridge for a much-bigger move at the end of the season when the summer transfer window opens.
As such, Kvaratskhelia has plenty of admirers across Europe, especially from the Premier League, with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and West Ham United all in the race for his signature. Serie A giants Napoli are also keeping tabs on the youngster. But, as per 90 min, Leeds United have emerged as the front-runners to sign the Georgian sensation.
Raphinha has been Leeds’s standout performer this season with 12 goal contributions across his 27 top-flight appearances. His form has, understandably, alerted a number of European bigwigs, and it seems that Leeds will face a huge battle to persuade Raphinha to stay.
Barcelona are leading the charge in prising Raphinha away from Leeds, with Xavi making the Brazilian his top priority to replace Ousmane Dembele, who is expected to leave Camp Nou when his contract expires come summer. Should Raphinha head out the exit door, it would likely leave a big void in Leeds’s attack. To that end, Kvaratskhelia’s profile fits the bill, and he could be available for a reasonable price.
Although the 21-year-old primarily plays on the left-wing of an attacking trident and would not be a direct replacement for Raphinha, who operates, most commonly, down the right, he is versatile enough to do a job on the right or as a supporting striker. Else, Jesse Marsch could shift Daniel James to the right flank to solve the issues for Leeds.
Kvaratskhelia might not be a prolific goalscorer, but his pace, dribbling ability and dynamism in the attacking third can not be disregarded. He would not only bring quality in possession with his flair and elegant playing style but also create opportunities for Leeds with effective link-up play.
At the age of just 21, he certainly has time and potential to become a top player in the next few years if nurtured properly. Whether Leeds United launch a summer swoop for the Georgian international remains to be seen.