So much for the Stefano Pioli dream. Inter Milan have finally fired Frank de Boer, and it sounds like the former Lazio mister may well be the next man up. If Paulo Sousa ends up leaving, Fiorentina could need to look elsewhere for his replacement.
Much more exciting is the news that club legend Giancarlo Antognoni is close to signing back on with Fiorentina as a vice-president. Given his long and acrimonious history with ownership, particularly the Della Valles, it’s a surprising move and not without its risks, as Giancarlo isn’t afraid to speak his mind under any circumstances, but bringing one of the most important Viola players ever back into the fold is a reason to get amped up.
After a major slip up against Crotone cost his team 2 points, it’s hardly a surprise to hear that Ciprian Tatarusanu might be sold elsewhere. We’ve long heard about his admirers in England, so there could be some money to be had for his services. We also hear that Luca Lezzerini would get first crack at replacing him, which rather leaves Bartlomiej Dragowski out in the cold. Of course, this is all probably baseless speculation, but still worth considering.
Remember Matija Nastasic? The Schalke centerback has fully regained his form after a disastrous spell at Manchester City (can’t believe that deal was for Stefan Savic + about €12 million), but has told Gianluca di Marzio that he misses Italy and would like to return some day. Just think: Corvino could conceivably bring him back along with Stevan Jovetic and Felipe Melo.
AC Milan continue to covet Milan Badelj, although the London Evening Standard claims they’re also interested in Cesc Fabregas. The Spanish maestro, miscast under Mourinho, is just the sort of signing the Rossoneri would love to make, but even the English rag believes that Badelj is still the top choice, possibly due to the influence of Vincenzo Montella. The Corriere Fiorentino believes that any proceeds from the sale wouldn’t go to a replacement midfielder, but to another proven winger to spell Federico Berrnardeschi and Cristian Tello.
Fiorentina don’t seem to be wasting any time in locating a replacement, though. They’ve tapped Borussia Dortmund and Turkey star Nuri Sahin as the next man up, according to sources in Germany and Italy. Heaven knows he’s talented, but he’s about as sturdy wet Kleenex; he’s made just 22 appearances over the past 3 seasons, instead dealing with a long string of injuries to his ankles, knees, and back. Turkish club Trabzonspor are also tracking him, but he may want to try his luck at Fiorentina, which has certainly rehabilitated similar players in the past.
Empoli have decided not to move Ricardo Saponara in January, though, which ends a brief period of speculation about an intra-Tuscan transfer. He may well have to be sold in the summer, though, if Empoli wants to continue operating in Serie A. We’ll file this on to “check back in June.”
As much as he frustrates us, Josip Ilicic is one of the better players wearing purple right now, as he’s always a danger to score when he touches the ball. As such, it’s probably not surprising that Corvino is looking to lock him up for another few years with an extension. Or maybe he’s just looking to drive the price up before selling. Whatever it is, the takeaway is that Ilicic will be meeting with Viola officials to get started on a new contract.
In a bit of news that’s nothing more than routine maintenance of our rumor archives, Genoa have confirmed that Leonardo Pavoletti isn’t moving this winter. The hitman has been linked to Fiorentina for the past year or so in most of the dailies, but it seems that the media are the only ones expecting the story to go any further.