What is to be done with Adem Ljajic? When he arrived in Florence, his displays for Partizan Belgrade and his ties to Manchester United already had already marked him as a future star. He is one of the most promising young attackers on the peninsula. He had maybe the best second half of the season of any player in Serie A. His potential, that beguiling and nebulous term, is sky-high.
Of course, Adem is also one of the most frustrating players in Italy. Sinisa Mihajlovic and Delio Rossi questioned his fitness and his attitude. For a long time, his flicks and tricks and sudden bursts of speed would take him past an opponent, but his final product would disappoint. He lived in the shadow of Stevan Jovetic. He faded into and out of games, his greatest contribution frequently coming via an English broadcaster's comical efforts to pronounce his surname.
Now, he has been linked with a move to AC Milan, masterminded by the unsavory duo of agent Fali Ramadani and Adriano Galliani. The Viola management want to resign their young standout to longer terms with a higher buyout clause, while Ljajic's camp wants higher wages and a comparatively low buyout clause, hinting at a plan to leave the purple behind sooner rather than later. The city's outrage is palpable: after supporting the youngster through indifferent form and his legendary altercation with Delio Rossi, after bringing in a group of talented players around him, after selling Jovetic, Adem would turn his back on Florence? The wailing and gnashing of teeth is positively Dantean.
With the bitter taste of Ricardo Montolivo's lackadaisical final season and subsequent free transfer to and performance for the rossonerri still fresh in Florentine mouths, what course of action should the office take?