Reports that both Matías Fernández and Joaquín are close to signing extensions are welcome news out of Florence. The pair formed two-thirds of the candidate base for Fiorentina's player of the year (Gonzalo Rodriguez is the third), and are going to be crucial to new manager Paulo Sousa's plans.
Mati only recently rejoined the club from taking a well-deserved break after his crucial role in Chile's historic Copa America win. There were rumors, though, that a number of clubs were interested in the playmaking midfielder after his displays for the national team, and the deafening silence from the Fernandez camp was a little bit unsettling for Fiorentina fans. Even more nerve-wracking, when Mati returned to training, it wasn't with his club. Instead, he joined Colo Colo and practiced with them for a few weeks. It now looks as if he was just spending some more time at home and keeping fit, as he is purportedly close to signing an extension through 2019, with a club option for 2020. Details have not yet emerged about the wage and buyout clause, but he's likely to have earned a raise from his current 1 million euro yearly salary, and will probably cost any interested teams a hefty sum. Should he sign, he'll be locked up through his age 33 season.
34 year old Joaquin Sanchez Rodriguez has had a slightly different offseason. While it's generally acknowledged that the former Spanish international wants to return to his first club Real Betis to finish his career, his outrageous form over the past couple years has carried on through the preseason, and Sousa will no doubt want to keep the talismanic winger on the books for as long as he can. While it's up to Joaquin how much longer he wants to play, he surely has another couple of years in his legs, and seems happy enough to let Fiorentina have at least one more. His agent is working with Prade on a 1 year extension; at Joaquin's age, a new year-long deal every season seems like the best option for both parties.
Here's hoping that everything goes quickly and quietly, and that Mati and Joaquin can continue inspiring Fiorentina to high-flying places in the table.