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And the telenovela continues: No contract deal in sight for Neto

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Fiorentina and Neto still too far away, there is not too much room for optimism, says Andrea Della Valle

Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Will he, won't he. We've seen this thing quite a few times already. These contract sagas are almost as tiring as inability to win games at Artemio Franchi. There were a lot of those, but Norberto Neto's one resembles Adem Ljajic's story the most. A player that was doubted by everyone and almost sold for next to nothing one summer turned everything around (thanks also to the trust that the club and, most of all, the coach had in him) and is now a star. Unlike Ljajic, who had one year of contract left when he was sold to Roma, Neto's expired in the summer, and with all probability, Fiorentina will lose him without any compensation. Unless something changes after the holidays, that is.

According to club owner, Andrea Della Valle, there is no reason for too much optimism. In a short statement after the game with Empoli, Della Valle said: "Neto seems a little elusive right now, and I am not optimistic. I hope I'm wrong, but I am afraid he will leave us". He then added that it would be one of the biggest disappointments since the Della Valle brothers took over Fiorentina, because, he says "I defended Neto in front of the whole city when he was heavily criticized".

It would seem that Roma might be the next destination for the Brazilian goalie, but not before June. Vincenzo Montella said that Neto will be first choice for the rest of the season, even if he doesn't sign the new contract.