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Serie A winger reacts to praise from Ancelotti, names two Real Madrid icons as his idols

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Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

During the period between May 2018 and December 2019, Carlo Ancelotti was the man in charge of Napoli. His spell at the Serie A side was far from his best stints and he left the Italians after 19 months for Everton.

Yet, there is still a deep sense of respect between the manager and his former side. Earlier today, Napoli phenomenon Khvicha Kvaratskhelia expressed his happiness over receiving praise from Ancelotti as revealed by Corriere dello Sport.

“Ancelotti called me special? It’s a great emotion, he made me happy & I thank him from the bottom of my heart,” the winger said.

The response comes in light of Ancelotti’s interview earlier this week where he spoke about Napoli’s strong start to the season and their game-changing summer signings. During that conversation, he has only words of praise for Kvaratskhelia.

“Kvaratskhelia surprise? He is a special player. We were already following him when I was at Napoli,” Ancelotti had said.

Further elaborating on his adulation for Real Madrid, Kvaratskhelia then revealed that both of his footballing idols were Real Madrid legends, Cristiano Ronaldo and Guti.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is my idol, even if my first one was Real Madrid’s Guti. When I played in the streets of Tbilisi, I wore a white shirt, writing his name on the back.”

The 21-year-old completed his move from Dinamo Batumi to Italy in a deal worth €10 million in July. With less than half the over, the club are already convinced they got their man on a bargain.

In his first eight games for Napoli, the Georgian international has scored five goals and provided two assists. Quite clearly, he did not require much time to adapt to his new environment.

The youngster is now on the radars of Chelsea and Liverpool given his strong performances. It remains to be seen if Real Madrid jump into the race for him eventually, especially given that Ancelotti has his eye on him.

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Real Madrid News

Premier League club close the doors on defender’s exit amid Real Madrid interest

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Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Back in March, news surfaced that Real Madrid and Manchester United were both interested in signing Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite

The competition for his signature was fierce, but United eventually shifted their attention to another target, Leny Yoro, leaving Real Madrid without a new defender. 

Despite their interest, Everton’s high valuation of Branthwaite at €80 million made both clubs reconsider their pursuit.

According to a report from The Athletic, Everton’s stance on Branthwaite has now solidified. They are not entertaining any offers for the defender. 

Real Madrid, in reality, never made an official bid. They were merely observing from a distance as Everton turned down two substantial offers from Manchester United. 

The highest of these offers was close to €60 million, including both fixed and variable components, yet it still fell short of Everton’s expectations.

Everton want nothing less than €80 million

Everton’s valuation of Branthwaite is influenced by recent high-profile transfers of defenders like Harry Maguire, Wesley Fofana, and Josko Gvardiol. 

Jarrad Branthwaite will not leave Everton this summer. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

These deals have set a precedent, making Everton firm in their demand of £65-70 million, equivalent to over €82 million, for Branthwaite. Despite his high valuation, Everton is adamant about retaining him, considering him a crucial part of their future plans.

Complicating matters, Everton are facing significant financial difficulties. The club has been in a precarious financial position, confirmed by recent reports. 

The Friedkin Group, owners of Roma and potential new buyers for Everton, have halted negotiations with the club’s current owner, Farhad Moshiri. 

They have accumulated over €600 million in debt, and the uncertainty surrounding its management has only worsened the situation.

In light of these financial troubles, selling Branthwaite for a substantial amount could have provided a much-needed financial boost for Everton. However, the club is reluctant to part with one of their most promising young talents. 

They view Branthwaite as a vital component of their long-term strategy and are unwilling to sell him at a discount, even in their current economic state.

At Goodison Park, the decision to keep Branthwaite despite lucrative offers is a clear statement of their commitment to building a strong future. The young defender is seen as a key asset, and Everton’s refusal to sell him underscores their belief in his potential. 

The club’s financial struggles continue to pose challenges, but they are determined to navigate these difficulties without compromising their long-term vision.

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