With the World Cup now over, we club fans around the world are emerging from the stupefying alternate universe that captivates us every four years and are finding ourselves very much back in the real world. With the golden sun of Brazil 2014 descended below the horizon in a swift sunset, we turn our weary, still slightly watering eyes to the pile of dishes in the sink: the summer transfer window.
But where some clubs have been taking care of their off-field matters with a fiery energy, and others with a calm coldness, the atmosphere around the Fiorentina transfer market at the moment is more of an sweaty and turgid one. We can only hope that the annoying heat and humidity is building towards a cleansing thunderstorm.
Granted the World Cup has slowed things down for many clubs, and Fiorentina in particular must await the return of Juan Cuadrado to Florence before knowing the full scope of their mercato. Andrea Della Valle has iterated time and again his intention to keep the Colombian wing talent with the club, but that still depends on what the player wants and what offers might be lobbed in Fiorentina's direction. Both Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and Barcelona are said to be in "heavy pressing" for Cuadrado, with Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that the Bavarian club have already contacted the Della Valle with a 42 million Euro offer. An influx of that kind of cash would make August a very different month for Fiorentina, but for now it is all up in the air, and certainly the fans would like to see one of their superstars remain.
Fiorentina have, however, managed some positive dealings despite the uncertain status of Cuadrado, with David Pizarro and Borja Valero both renewing their contracts, and young Joshua Brillante arriving from Australia for a small fee and immediately looking like an interesting midfield talent in his first friendly. 30 year old Argentinian defender Jose Maria Basanta has been set for a low-cost move to Florence for a while now after finishing his World Cup campaign; la Viola have been hammering out the financial details with his Mexican club CF Monterrey.
Ryder Matos has moved to Cordoba on loan for the season, and will look to whet his teeth in La Liga, likely leaving his place as "young rotation striker" to the increasingly impressive 20 year old Federico Bernardeschi, fresh from a successful loan spell in Serie B after being a pivotal player in Fioretina's primavera. Rumors continue to swirl of Fiorentina interest in Atalanta left winger Giacomo Bonaventura, a technical player entering his prime who could give Montella yet another attacking accessory, although to date Atalanta's price requests have been too steep for a player yet to prove himself on the biggest stages.
But with the ongoing Cuadrado stalemate and the smaller, positive-looking moves, a couple big issues remain to be addressed in August. The attempts to renew the contract of Alberto Aquilani have stalled, casting doubts on his future in Florence, while the squad still needs to be trimmed sizably, particularly in central defense and attack. There are whispers that Marcos Alonso has impressed Vincenzo Montella sufficiently (often playing in central defense in these early friendlies) to remain despite Sunderland's interest in recouping their loan star, whereas the futures of Facundo Roncaglia, Michele Camporese, and even Stefan Savic are far less certain. Montella still desperately needs more quality in his defensive back and midfield options, and sales or loans of the previous or any/all of Rebic, Wolski, Octavio, Babacar, Lazzari, Bakic, Iakovenko, Vecino, Cassani (the list goes on, our roster is far too large at the moment) would free up money and room for the missing pieces that could make our season. We sweat for the watershed moment in the Fiorentina summer transfer window.
Full ownership of Cuadrado. Borja and Pizarro renewals, Matos out on loan, Octavio, Tatarusanu, and Brillante added.
Resolve Cuadrado's future. Add one midfielder and (at least) one defensive wing player. Thin the squad by selling players who we know have no room and loaning youth that aren't ready.
Aquilani, Savic, Roncaglia, Alonso, Compper, Babacar. End the Bonaventura soap opera.