Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia helped exact a smidgen of Rangers Euro revenge v Eintracht Frankfurt, but how different things might’ve been had the Ibrox side signed the winger.
The Georgian international has been a revelation at Napoli ever since joining the Italians in the summer, with the 22-year-old attacker helping to fire the club to their first Serie A title since the days of Diego Maradona.
But whilst Napoli boast an 18 point lead in Italy, and a first Scudetto since 1990 beckons, it was on Champions League duty that the Italians were making headlines this week.
Napoli dump Frankfurt out Champions League
Napoli are dark horses to lift this season’s Champions League trophy and dispatched familiar European Ibrox foes Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 in Italy to send the Germans packing from the competition 5-0 on aggregate.
It serves as a semblance of revenge for Rangers fans, who are still hurting from the devastating penalty kicks Europa League Final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt last season.
The knock-on effect was felt this campaign too; Frankfurt were put into pot one of European football’s elite tournament and qualified from a group of Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting Lisbon and Marseille.
Conversely, pot four Rangers were dubbed the competition’s worst-ever side after losing every match in a desperate group of death which contained Liverpool, Ajax and of course, Napoli.
Whilst Khvicha Kvaratskhelia never added to his 13 goals or 15 assists this season in the clash, the Georgian did play 74 minutes of the game as Napoli set their sights on Champions League glory.
The goals were scored by Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen, who grabbed a brace, and Polish international midfielder Piotr Zielinski, who netted a penalty.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was offered to Rangers
Rangers fans are very familiar with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, the winger having turned out in the 3-0 defeat to Napoli at ibrox this season, but former Gers defender Craig Moore revealed that he might’ve been turning out at Ibrox.
The Australian defender now works with football management consultancy 4-5-1 and claims that he offered Kvaratskhelia to Rangers before his switch to Italy.
“It’s a funny story, he was in Russia and due to all the issues, he went back to Georgia to play at Batumi,” Craig Moore told the GO Radio Football Show.
“I had the mandate to try and get him to Southampton with the management company I am working with.
“Southampton at £11-12million – which was the figure at the time – said that’s probably not something we are looking at, and it’s still a bit of a risk.
“The English clubs like to see you perform somewhere else before and then pay overs, which is madness for me.
I did throw the little Malteser at Rangers saying ‘is this not somebody you could maybe look at? Get him in on loan with an option to buy, because it’s not going to happen here in the UK’.
“Rangers were set at that time with their recruitment and their signings, and the next minutes I saw him pop up at Napoli for £10million.
“And then this season with what he has done in the Champions League and what he has done domestically he is probably worth about £80-90million.”
Rangers fans certainly might be ruing the club not taking a punt on the player, with Napoli spending a reported £10m to sign Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and the player now being tipped to go for a lot more.
James Carragher tipped the winger to make the switch to Spanish giants Real Madrid with Be Soccer valuing the player around the £65m mark.
Meanwhile, the reported Kyle Fox takeover of Rangers has collapsed.