Today began with the hiring of a new man at the disposal of Daneile Prade in the Fiorentina offices, and it is coming to close with fresh drama around the ongoing Vincenzo Montella saga. Pedro Pereira, ex Sporting Club de Braga administrator has joined the Viola team. At first it was feared that he might be taking over for sporting director Prade - whose contract expires in a year - but the young Portuguese is anticipated to arrive in Florence to work under the current Fiorentina management. An "international project" is what is being advertised here, with Pereira expected to reach into slightly different (read, non-Baltic) markets for fresh international talent, while also placing some of the current Fiorentina excesses.
But as intriguing and surprising a distraction as the Iberian news was, Andrea Della Valle personally ensured that the Fiorentina faithful didn't take their eyes and ears off of the real drama of the moment. Just as positive messages are emerging of Vincenzo Montella being close to
staying for another season in Florence, the pseudo-president sort-of owner let loose to the media, asking Montella to "quit stalling" "out of respect for the jersey and for the fans." The slightly inappropriate and public nature of the statement seems to indicate that something more is going on, with the most likely scenario being that Montella is considering another offer, and Fiorentina are also speaking with other candidates for the position. Paolo Sousa and Giampaolo Ventura are the "hottest" names at the moment, and the thinking is that ADV doesn't want to keep some very good coaches dangling while they wait for Montella.
For his part, Montella made himself available to respond despite being on vacation, but it was again shockingly public. "I'm surprised by the communication from the club," said Montella, continuing that "it's been months we have been talking of what the project contains for the future, and because of my respect for the fans and the shirt, it's important to be clear of the objective with or without me." Montella ended with a slightly optimistic line, however, with the final decision destined to be sealed this weekend: "I'll end saying I am the Fiorentina coach and I am making myself available to continue to be so, with my professionalism and enthusiasm."
Perhaps the inclusion of "professionalism" is a slight dig at ADV, and certainly there is a suggestion in the phrasing that Vincenzo still expects Fiorentina to do more. Regardless, the coaching situation in Florence is clearly nearing resolution.