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Fiorentina agree personal terms for Basel right back Taulant Xhaka, deal to follow?

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A fee must now be agreed with the Swiss club

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Today Gazzetta dello Sport took a break from talking incessantly about Mohammed Salah to report that Fiorentina have agreed a deal with Taulant Xhaka and his entourage. The 24 year old Swiss Albanian right back has been requested explicitly by his former manager Paulo Sousa, and looks ready for a jump up in level after a couple of strong seasons in the Swiss Super League; with Basel, Xhaka also gathered some invaluable big game experience thanks to appearances in the UEFA Champions League.

FC Basel are holding out for €4 million, although the Viola are hopeful to bring the promising defender in for a lower fee. This might be another shot in the dark from a prominent newspaper based on the Sousa connection, but if the deal goes through, Xhaka would almost definitely be an upgrade on Nenad Tomovic's out of position struggles and Micah Richards inconsistency last season.

Of course, this move would confirm that Luca Bittante has been brought back either for a loan or as a makeweight, and it would also cast the future of Cristiano Piccini into doubt. Regardless, a sizable upgrade on the defensive flanks was desperately needed, and Fiorentina fans will be anxiously watching to see if Xhaka ends up being the player they have hoped for.