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International break done, the wait is almost over

We take a post international break look at how the squad is shaping up and briefly round up the recent news stories.

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An exciting and action packed April awaits for Fiorentina. The frenetic fixture list starts again on Saturday evening with a mouth-watering home clash with in form Sampdoria. Vincenzo Montella will need a full squad at his fingertips in order to forge ahead in three competitions. Stefan Savic should have sufficiently recovered from his thigh injury to be in the squad on Saturday, however Montella may decide not to risk an early return with next Tuesday's Coppa Italia second leg against Juventus in mind. Ciprian Tatarusanu should also be close to a return, which will see the manager having to decide whether or not to drop Norberto Neto who, despite his refusal to sign a contract, has been in excellent form. Manuel Pasqual's injury sustained whilst on international duty will need to be assessed by the Fiorentina medical team (note Claudio Marchisio situation) but his injury is not thought to be serious. Long term absentees Federico Bernadeschi and Giuseppe Rossi will also see their layoffs ending soon. Bernadeschi's broken ankle has healed well and he could even be a surprise inclusion in the squad to face Sampdoria. Club doctor Paolo Manetti has stated that Pepito should be back in full training in around one week, but understandably is being cautious about his return.

In other news, David Pizarro has stated publically that he will sign a one year extension to his contract. Captain Manuel Pasqual is also expected to renew for at least another year.  There are doubts, however about whether Alberto Aquilani and Juan Manuel Vargas will be offered an extension. The club are also still hopeful of acquiring the signatures of hot young prospects Khouma Babacar and Federico Bernadeschi in the not too distant future.

Mario Gomez was mentioned at the beginning of the week in the Spanish press as being on Barcelona's shortlist of strikers of a certain height along with Fernando Llorente, Edin Dzeko and Graziano Pelle. The German marksman seem unfazed by the speculation, stating that he wants to win something with Fiorentina. Mario seems to have tasted a little hero worship from the viola fans after the recent big game victories and has stated that he is quite happy where he is in Florence.

Finally, it has been reported that Massimilliano Allegri has been looking at trying to acquire the services of Mati Fernandez for Juventus in the summer. At the moment though, this is purely conjecture as Mati is under contract until 2016 and Montella is unlikely to let a key player leave for a rival Serie A side.

Whatever the outcome of the last games of the season, it is sure to be one hell of a ride for Fiorentina fans. Here at Viola Nation, we will be with you every step of the way.