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Crystal Palace joined Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in the summer transfer window, agent Timur Gurtskaya has revealed in quotes reported by Sport Business. 

About five months ago the Georgia international appeared to have his bags packed, his Uber booked and a seat on a plane out of Kazan secured. 

The question was not whether he would leave but who he would join.

Kvaratskhelia admitted in June he’d held talks regarding a move to Leeds United while the likes of Tottenham, Wolves and Everton were also linked – although Toffees director Marcel Brands quickly removed their name from the frame. 

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Kvaratskhelia would eventually miss out on a move to one of Europe’s top five leagues, however, with an £18 million price tag proving a substantial sticking point. 

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Since then, his form has declined substantially, a tally of one goal and one assist from 11 games unlikely to have Premier League clubs queuing up around the block again when the window reopens in January. 

“In May, I said Khvicha had to leave. It was already in his heart he had left. It was hard for him to come back,” explains Gurtskaya, who believes no one would be willing to pay more than £10 million these days. 

Photo by SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP via Getty Images

“As far as I know, Khvicha was torn between the fact he needed to stay (in Rubin) and what his father told him.” 

Kvaratskhelia’s father said in early summer his son was “100 per cent certain to leave Russian football behind.  

“We are talking about a very young boy about whom everyone sang praises. They said all the clubs in the world wanted him,” adds Gurtskaya.  

“Juventus and Tottenham! It blows the roof off. Then, there was talk about not so big teams – Crystal Palace. He thought about it for four months.” 

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

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