Spurs and Leeds United target Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is an “outstanding” talent and could be “impossible” for Rubin Kazan to replace, former USSR international Vladimir Pilguy has told MKRU.
The Russian Premier League giants may have lost star centre-back Carl Starfelt to Celtic but, for now at least, arguably the most exciting winger in the country remains a Rubin Kazan player.
How much longer that lasts, however, is anyone’s guess.
Kvaratskhelia admitted earlier in the summer he had held talks with Leeds regarding a big-money move to Elland Road.
And just as a long-running transfer saga threatened to fizzle out like a cheap sparkler, his agent last week poured enough petrol to power a 1970s Mustang on the flaming embers of speculation.
Speaking to Sportall last week, Kvaratskhelia’s representative insisted “almost every team in the Premier League” had shown an interest in the Georgia international, name-dropping Everton, Brighton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur.
Such a wide array of interest will do little to calm Leonid Slutsky’s famously fragile nerves, although the Rubin coach insists he knows nothing about an “imminent move to Tottenham”.
Leeds and Tottenham in the race for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
If Kvaratskhelia is spirited away before the September transfer deadline, however, Pilguy feels Rubin Kazan will struggle to move on from the 20-year-old, who has been compared to Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
“It will be almost impossible for Slutsky to replace such an outstanding individual player. It is wrong to build a team game based on one footballer, but there are practically no such performers in our league,” says Pilguy, a former Dynamo Moscow goalkeeper.
“When Khvicha plays, scores and creates opportunities, Rubin win.
“But if Kvaratskhelia leaves for another championship, the approach of the whole team will have to be rebuilt.”
The £20 million-rated wideman produced six goals and eight assists in 23 league games last season.