Once again, Fiorentina is being linked with Daniele Baselli, a central midfielder for Atalanta. The 23 year old could be a key component of the squad's "Italianization," a necessary process to ensure compliance with Serie A's misleadingly named "Financial Fair Play" rules that none of us entirely understand.
According to Gianluca Di Marzo, Fiorentina again want the sought-after midfielder, perhaps as a replacement for the outgoing Alberto Aqualiani. Baselli was allegedly close to Milan in January, and while talks between Milan and Atalanta continue, Fiorentina could have a trump card by potentially including newly reacquired 21 year old left back Luca Bittante in any deal. Bittante was recently redeemed as part of a co-ownership deal with Avellino.
Although Baselli links are nothing new - in fact, the Viola have been interested for the past several transfer windows this new link comes at a strange time, as the crafty and technical player no longer fits in the purple midfield as well as he would have a year ago. New manager Paulo Sousa will likely place less emphasis on possession than Montella, and while reinforcing the midfield is still a priority, Sousa is believed to be more interested in a defensive-minded "destroyer" midfielder, and shifting the team's creativity to the flanks.
Baselli is a relatively well rounded player who is something of a cross between probable outgoing midfielders Aquilani and David Pizarro (neither of whom are believed to fit Sousa's vision). His tackling and vision would have made him Montella's ideal DM with some training, but he fits a stereotypical mold of a slow, deliberate Italian midfielders; a type of player that has no apparent place in Sousa's mooted 4-3-3 formation, especially when Milan Badelj and Borja Valero have similar technical characteristics, but have more clearly defined defensive and attacking roles respectively.
If Fiorentina is to get more Italian, Baselli is not the worst place to start, but is it worth getting in a bidding war with Milan over a player who is unlikely to even start under Sousa?
Meanwhile, on a more tragic note, the Jasmin Kurtić era is official over, as the much beloved midfielder has completed his transfer to Atalanta. Kurtic will be remembered for the flattery we all felt from his enthusiasm at joining Fiorentina, and his complete lack of footballing ability (except for random flashes of brilliance like this). Oh, and the fact that he was the closest thing Montella had to midfield grit at the end. Godspeed Jasmin.