The confirmations have started pouring in all at once, and at a late hour for most European time zones. Mario Gomez's long-rumored move to Besiktas appears to be set to be finalized tomorrow. It has been difficult for both Fiorentina and Besiktas to persuade big Mario to move to Turkey, as this was a year in which Gomez apparently hoped to return to international duty for Germany in time for the European Championships next summer; now pressure from both sides and an extravagant wage package seem to have swayed him.
The Istanbul-based club have reportedly offered Gomez a salary of around €5 million a season, which is at least half a million more than Fiorentina have been paying him. There are also performance-based bonuses both for him and for the Viola in this affair. The gigliati directors had accepted a Besiktas loan-with-obligatory-purchase formula as long as a week ago.
Fiorentina - and new manager Paulo Sousa - appeared undecided about whether or not to put the expensive striker on the market after another disappointing campaign last season. Sousa certainly defended Gomez when arriving at the club, but it is nearly impossible that the Viola would sell the misfiring (and aging) striker without the Portuguese coach's approval.
Fiorentina certainly can't have been incentivized to keep Gomez after seeing his performances this preseason, which have mirrored his displays at the end of the last campaign, when he was benched to accommodate veteran Alberto Gilardino.
Mario Gomez mustered 8 goals in 20 appearances for Fiorentina last season, numbers which perhaps even inflate his overall effectiveness under Vincenzo Montella. 4 of those goals came in the Coppa Italia, 2 of which were in perhaps his finest moment in a Viola jersey, when Fiorentina snatched a rain-soaked victory in Rome thanks to a Super Mario brace.
But for the most part, Gomez's time in Florence has been one of crippling disappointment. Niggling injury problems can't have helped the 30 year old find his footing in a new team and league, but it makes sense for the Viola to cut losses and look for some pace during the summer transfer window.
There may yet be twists in this deal - it has been a very wacky summer - but I would be prepared to say goodbye to that jaunty Gomez button. Here's hoping that the next big-money Fiorentina signing works out a lot better than this one.