Only a couple days after initially reporting the interest of Atletico Madrid, Montenegrin defender Stefan Savic has left the Fiorentina coalition heading to the United States for the International Champions Cup in order to join the Spanish club. The ex-Manchester City center back will undergo a medical in Madrid today, and his agent Zarko Pelicic hopes that the deal can be finalized this evening.
Savic tearfully bade farewell to his teammates at the airport in Verona yesterday before making his way to Spain today. The 24 year old has already spoken to the Spanish press, calling Diego Simeone "the best in the business."
Coming to Fiorentina in exchange for Savic's services is a significant chunk of change, as well as the services of Mario Suarez. The veteran Spanish midfielder is expected to have a medical today in Milan before flying out to join his new teammates and coach in the United States.
The Viola are expected to reinvest the money made on the sale of Savic on reinforcements for key areas of the team, with the first move potentially being securing the services of a different "Savic." But there will also be the tricky task of replacing the Montenegrin defender.
Whether or not the deal proves a good one for the Viola will depend greatly on how the rest of this summer transfer window goes. Savic - when on form - was an excellent penalty box defender and a perfectly suited foil to the more aggressive work of Gonzalo Rodriguez higher up the field. Now new manager Paulo Sousa is charged to find a new starting center back partnership.
Savic arrived as part of the cash plus player deal from Manchester City for Viola starlet Matija Nastasic. Savic has been a model professional for the Viola in his 3 years, a player who worked tirelessly and demonstrated his commitment on the field; he has shown his affection to the Fiorentina colors and for that he will be remembered fondly in Florence.
All the best in Madrid, Stefan, and thank you. We will think of you fondly, and your mustache will haunt our nightmares for decades to come.