There is to be no rest for the weary at Fiorentina this summer as the mercato period will see the fate decided for no less than thirteen players who have their contracts expiring. The club are also working hard to extend the deals of Khouma Babacar, Federico Bernardeschi and Matí Fernández, who's deals all expire at the end of next season.
The primary objective though, is to secure the services of Vincenzo Montella, who remains undecided about his future at the club. A decision looks imminent after l'aeroplanino has held several meetings with the hierarchy at Fiorentina who will no doubt have to promise extra funding for improving the squad in order to convince him to stay, meaning that there will be reason for a double celebration if the answer does turn out to be a yes from Montella. Next on the list must be to tie up the one year extension on the loan of Mohammed Salah. The original deal back in January stipulated that Fiorentina could extend the Egyptian's loan for all of the 2015-16 season for a flat fee of €1 million, plus the player's wages, which up until now have been payed by his parent club Chelsea. It now remains a decision for the player himself as to whether he wants to stay with the viola, but with more or less guaranteed first team football and the shower of affection from the fans, it is to be hoped that Mo will stay on at least for another year.
Although not out of contract, there was much talk of Josip Iličić being sold in the summer. However, since his recent revival it is reported that the club would like Josip to stay, especially as due to his low valuation, the financial benefits of selling him would be minimal.
We now have confirmation that Norberto Neto will leave the club in the summer, but what about the others that seem certain to leave the club this summer when their contracts expire? Micah Richards, whose one year loan has come to an end, has spoken about his lack of first team opportunities this year and will look for a fresh challenge at a different club next season. Mounir El Hamdaoui, Octávio, Aleandro Rosi, Andrea Lazarri and the will also be released. The ineffectual Jasmin Kurtić will end his loan and return to Sassuolo.
The renewal of David Pizarro's contract, which is expiring this year, will have to wait until he returns from international duty with Chile at the Coppa America, although Pek has publicly assured Fiorentina that he wants to stay. The club also want to negotiate the reported 1.5 million needed to release Alberto Gilardino from his contract with Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande. Gila, who has somewhat surprisingly proved to be a real asset for the viola in the latter stages of the season has himself stated that he would like to to score his 200th career goal with Fiorentina. At 17 goals short of this target, the fans would certainly like to see him try! The future of Guangzhou teammate and partner in crime Alessandro Diamanti is less certain, and after having made less of an impact, the club may see him return to China.
Finally, there is uncertainty surrounding whether or not the contracts of Alberto Aquilani and Juan Manuel Vargas will be renewed. Both players are out of contract in the summer and Aquilani had been linked with a move to the MLS but there has also been speculation of an extension, which would be for one year at the most due to his poor form this season. Vargas is currently on holiday but his agent is in Florence for contract talks, suggesting that he too could be offered a short extension.
With the departures from the club that are planned, it is clear that there is a huge need for new talent for the 15-16 campaign and there is much to be done to achieve this. The midfield in particular will see a huge overhaul, but this will be a good chance to improve on the current resources at the club. In the meantime, we all wait with baited breath to see if the man assigned to the task will be Vincenzo Montella or if recruiting a new manager will become another addition to Fiorentina's to do list.