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Fiorentina mercato preview: What to expect

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Which players is Daniele Pradè planning to scoop up as reinforcements? Who's he going to turn loose? We've got some predictions.

Daniele Pradè has connections.
Daniele Pradè has connections.
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

We've already broken down the strengths and weaknesses of the squad here, so now it's time to try and figure out the ins and outs of the mercato. Obviously, a lot of these "predictions" are guesswork founded on rumor based on shoddy reporting. Given Pradè's habit of signing players with minimal forewarning, this piece will is more likely to be something that we look back on and laugh about more than anything.

It's also worth mentioning the market parameters for la Viola. There is a war chest available, possibly containing as much as €15 million. Past that, all purchases will require sales to fund them. Pradè and the Della Valles have repeated their desire to bring in more defenders, so that is probably priority number one. Gianluca di Marzio, who's normally as reliable as anyone working this beat, believes the club are searching for a centerback, a rightback, and a central midfielder. I'd venture that a striker is also likely addition.

Departures

Considering how many centerbacks Fiorentina have been linked to, I'd be astonished if any of the ones currently on the roster moved on, although it's not inconceivable that youngster Ricardo Bagadur might head for pastures new on loan. Other than that, though, any of Gonzalo, Davide Astori, Facundo Roncaglia, or Nenad Tomović who left would need to be replaced immediately.

Manuel Pasqual, however, has been the subject of intense speculation, what with his losing the armband to Gonzalo and his starting berth to Marcos Alonso. Sampdoria and AC Milan have been the most common destinations supplied in the rumors, but the player himself has been typically professional, reiterating that he's focused on his current team and nothing else. With the lack of depth behind Alonso, I think he'll probably stick around.

On the other side, Ante Rebic is almost certain to leave on loan in search of regular minutes, possibly to Brescia or Empoli; a move away could work wonders for a promising, albeit frustrating, young player. Gilberto is another one who could leave for six months, as the step from Brazilian Serie B to Italian Serie A has looked a challenging one.

Misfit midfielder Mario Suárez, despite his and his agent's insistence that he's happy at the club, is maybe the most likely candidate to leave. He's been linked to a host of clubs, including (perhaps most credibly) Liverpool. He could also be used as a sweetener in a swap deal.

Mati Fernández is another player who's not figured into Paulo Sousa's plans. Torino and AC Milan are sniffing around him, and there are whispers that he's homesick and wants to go back to Chile, but he could well end up staying and fighting for a spot. Sort of a toss up whether he moves on or sticks around.

Of the forwards, it already seems a foregone conclusion that Giuseppe Rossi is leaving the club. Fortunately, it's almost certain to be a loan for the remainder of the season, allowing him to find his feet without slowing down the rest of the team. The most common projected landing places have been Samp and Real Betis, although everyone seems to be doing their due diligence on him. Youngster Jaime Báez, who's been hanging out with the Primavera, is another who might benefit from more minutes on loan, although he might may continue in the youth setup.

Arrivals

A new centerback or two is a near certainty, as the club higher ups have explicitly stated that they're looking for back line reinforcements, fueling a robust group of rumors. Lisandro López of Benfica seems like the most likely candidate, as there's been an extended courtship between club and €7 million-rated player, but should the rug be pulled out, there's a whole host of names touted as possible fallback options. Lorenzo Tonelli of Empoli is rumored to be close to a move. Milan's Philippe Mexès, Fluminense's Marlon, and Tottenham's Federico Fazio, and Marseille's Nicolas Nkoulou have also popped up repeatedly in the rumor mill as targets.

Sylvan Widmer of Udinese seems to be Sousa's preferred option on the right flank, although the Friuli outfit seems unwilling to give him up. Backup options include Gino Peruzzi of Boca Juniors and Giulio Donati of Bayer Leverkusen. On the other side, Empoli's Mário Rui and Napoli's Juan Zúñiga have generated some buzz.

There is a host of central midfielders who are "certain" to join Fiorentina. The more credible possibilities are 21-year-old Uruguayan Andrés Schettino of CA Fénix, who's supposedly already signed and sealed. Ricardo Saponara of Empoli has popped up repeatedly as a target, but his €15 million price tag is pretty steep. Diminutive 20-year-old Stefano Sensi of Cesena and 24-year-old Dutchman Marten de Roon of Atalanta are cheaper alternatives who seem to have caught Sousa's eye.

The past month has seen a flood of attackers linked to Fiorentina. Marseille's Lucas Ocampos, a former Argentinean "next Messi," is supposedly close to a loan move already. Long-term target Papu Gómez is, once again, supposedly en route from Atalanta; wonderful if true, but we've heard that one so many times that it's tough to believe at this point. Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian international winger Bernard is supposedly a Sousa favorite and seems like the kind of player who could pop up in Florence with absolutely no warning, although Club Brugge's 22-year-old Brazilian winger Felipe Gedoz is a much cheaper option. If Rossi leaves, another center forward will become necessary; Udinese's Cyril Thereau has been the subject of inquiries, and would fit in fine as a third striker, but just doesn't seem like the type of player the club would bring in.