So much for that. Inter Milan have paid Lazio (who still had him under contract, technically) for the right to sign Stefano Pioli as their new manager. As he was heavily tipped to take over at Fiorentina this summer after a putative Paulo Sousa departure, the Della Valles will have to look elsewhere.
Another position that’ll need to be filled is vice-president, where Giancarlo Antognoni has chosen not to rejoin the club of which he’s so symbolic. He’s instead choosing to work with the FIGC, but left the door open for a return to Florence in a vice-presidential capacity at some point in the future.
Mostly as a bookkeeping notice, Gonzalo Rodriguez’s agent is still in Italy and working with Corvino on his client’s contract extension. Both sides seem pretty mellow, which makes it seem almost certain that the captain will stick around for another year or two before returning to San Lorenzo for a last hurrah, as he’s previously stated he’d like to do.
There’s a new name for a possible rightback reinforcement this January, and it’s Francesco Zampano. With Nenad Tomovic the only proven (ish) option at that spot—Carlos Salcedo is clearly a centerback pushed wide and Kevin Diks simply isn’t ready yet—the 22-year-old from Pescara may be the solution. Thought to be available for €3 million, he’s the sort of cheap gamble that Corvino likes to make, and word is the clubs have been in touch about a move. As a converted winger, he’s a very forward-thinking fullback, but his defensive instincts are rapidly improving as well.
Following his second-half substitution against Sampdoria in a match he was playing well in, the punditocracy has reached previously unheard levels of certainty that Milan Badelj is leaving Fiorentina sooner rather than later. Although a January exit (especially if the club needs to raise funds for reinforcements) can’t be ruled out after he refused to sign an extension last month, a summer sale remains the more likely outcome, given that he’s got a year and a half left on his contract. With AC Milan, AS Roma, and Chelsea all circling, Corvino’s hoping to get €12 million for the Croatian international.
The list of possible replacements for Badelj has a new addition as well, as GazzaMercato claims that the Viola have made contact with Pescara for Valerio Verre. After choosing to stay in Abruzzo this summer amidst strong interest from Roma and others, the Delfini could well decide to sell him this year, especially as they sink towards the bottom of Serie A. In fairness, though, he’s hardly a defensive midfielder, but rather a Borja Valero clone.
Long mooted as a possible addition, it looks like the market for Atalanta star Franck Kessie is heating up. Alfredo Pedulla claims that at least one unnamed English club has offered €15 million for him, although the player prefers to stay in Italy. Unfortunately, that kind of price sets him in the sights of clubs like Juventus, Inter, and Napoli. It seems that he’s played himself right out of Fiorentina’s price range, which is a shame.
Forgotten man Khouma Babacar has said and done all the right things while Sousa refuses to give him a chance, and club management have also said that he’s simply unsellable, but after nearly leaving this summer, la Nazione believes he may leave in January. It’d be an ignominious end for the longest-serving Viola player and fan favorite, but perhaps we should begin to brace ourselves for it.
Mauro Zarate could also be edging towards the door. After missing a large chunk of the preseason and some early matches to be with his wife while she dealt with some serious health issues, he’s fallen completely off the radar. Now fit and training with the team again, he’ll surely attract some interest on the market if Sousa deems him surplus to requirements.
As you may have noticed, the Viola are struggling to score goals so far this year, which has led to links to a number of strikers. The latest is for out-of-favor AC Milan striker Gianluca Lapadula. The former Serie B sensation has only made 6 appearances for the Rossoneri, scoring a singe goal, and may get a chance to leave on loan. Given Milan’s obsession with Milan Badelj, an exchange could benefit both parties. In the meantime, enjoy watching him tear up some obviously overmatched Serie B defenses.
Samp owner and noted fish fan Massimo Ferrero has vociferously denied that he’ll sell Luis Muriel to Fiorentina. Which nobody has been talking about. So, uh, thanks for clearing that up for us, Max.
The resumption of the Stevan Jovetic and Manolo Gabbiadini rumors, meanwhile, should surprise no one. Corvino has already discussed the supreme unlikelihood of bringing JoJo back from Inter due to the financial difficulties involved (and it would only be for on a short loan, anyways), while the Napoli attacker’s atrocious form, coupled with how much the Partenopei want for him, renders him an impossibility as well.