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Sousa "close" to signing a contract with Fiorentina

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The Portuguese manager has reportedly been in negotiations with the viola

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FC Basel coach is reportedly very close to signing a deal with Fiorentina this evening. The Swiss club had denied receiving any contact from Fiorentina, however speculation has that the Portuguese manager is the man to replace Vincenzo Montella has significantly increased.

Sousa spent part of his career playing in Italy, spending time at Inter, Parma and won the Champion's League with Fiorentina's rivals Juventus in 1995-96 - which will be seen as somewhat of a disadvantage amongst the fans. As a manager, he spent time in the English championship, starting with a short spell at QPR, but was promptly sacked by then co-owners Flavio Briatore and Gianni Palladini. The official reason stated for his removal was that he had divulged sensitive transfer information, which he denied, and he wasn't the first manager to have experienced tension with the duo at the London club. He went on to replace Roberto Martinez at Swansea, also in the Championship, leading them to their highest ever finish, missing out on the play-offs by just one point. His success alerted Leicester who tempted him away from Swansea after only one season, but he was fired after less than three months by trigger happy Leicester chairman Milan Mandaric. Sousa was left rueing the decision to leave Swansea, something he has publicly spoken about in recent times. Some diverse managerial experience followed, winning domestic leagues in Hungary and Israel with Videoton and Maccabi Tel Aviv, leading to his appointment with Basel, where he won the Swiss Super League in 2014-15, his first season at the helm.

Roberto Donadoni, currently in charge at bankrupt Parma, is another name heavily linked with the manager's role at Fiorentina, who is reportedly still in second place should the deal with Sousa fall through. The former azzuri manager has impressed in his three seasons with the crociati despite their financial woes, finishing in 10th position in 2012-13, and achieved an impressive 6th place in 2013-14, however the team were not able to take their reward of a place in the Europa League after they were denied an UEFA licence due to unpaid taxes. Undeterred by their financial issues and inevitable relegation this season, Donadoni has steered Parma to impressive results against top sides - beating Fiorentina 1-0 in the Mario Gomez horror show in January and even defeating title winners Juventus, plus carving out draws with Napoli and Roma along the way.

The appointment of Torino manager Giampiero Ventura is now looking very unlikely after he publically stated that he will remain in charge next season, plus Fiorentina are unwilling to upset the fratelli granata and Luciano Spaletti's high wage demands meant that his appointment was a non-starter.

The next hours will prove decisive in the managerial selection for Fiorentina. Until then, we all wait with baited breath.