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Paulo Sousa and Basel end contract; announcement as Fiorentina manager expected imminently

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The Portuguese coach and the Swiss champions officially parted ways today, in a move that should liberate Sousa to come to Florence

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After over a week of nervousness and uncertainty since the firing of Vincenzo Montella, it appears that Fiorentina are a step away from having a new and somewhat unknown quantity coaching the team. Paulo Sousa has been heavily linked with the vacancy with the Viola, but had difficulty liberating himself from his current employers FC Basel, with whom the Portuguese manager had just won a domestic championship while also enjoying a reasonably successful Champions League campaign.

But today FC Basel officially announced that the club and Sousa had "agreed to the consensual rescission of the contract," thus freeing Sousa to come to Florence. The official Basel twitter account went on to publish a statement from the now-ex manager directed towards the fans:

"I thank the entire team and the fans for the faith they showed in me. I want to especially thank my players and I wish every satisfaction to all of the Basel organization, a club where I leave my heart and I hope continues to reap as much success as they have in the past"

Sousa may be announced as the new Fiorentina "mister" as early as tomorrow, although the contractual terms are not yet public. It has been rumored that the guaranteed salary demands made by Sousa have been relatively large for a young coach (a not unfair condition for leaving a very comfortable position at a Champions League club), a request which may have also stalled negotiations in this week after Montella's firing. The 44 year old has won 3 consecutive championships in 3 separate leagues, but his last experience managing in one of the "top" footballing countries resulted in his firing from his post at second-division Leicester City. The Viola faithful will expect a lot more from their Serie A debutant manager if he is appointed as expected.