To be honest, we started hearing rumblings of this one last week, but dismissed them as too far-fetched even for Transfer Tuesday (which means pretty far-fetched indeed). However, more and more whispers are borne to us on the winds of the internet, so it's time to start talking about Juventus tapping Paulo Sousa as Max Allegri's replacement in 2017 or sooner. In fact, it looks like the Old Lady has already gotten in touch with the Portuguese mister's agent, which, depending on the circumstances, could be construed as illegal tampering. Hopefully this one will quietly die down on its own, but it'll probably gain steam and need to be dealt with by club management. Which certainly inspires confidence.
Then, there's the odd case of Luigi Sepe. While he hasn't been sacked after his embarrassing Instagram outburst, he has been cast into the outer darkness and banished from the bench. His agent, demonstrating some real chutzpah, has come out and criticized Fiorentina for not giving his client any minutes, even in the youth setup. Just wow. Sepe's replacement as backup goalkeeper, the 17 year old Giacomo Satalino, is making waves for the right reasons. Following some impressive displays for the Primavera, he got a call-up to the senior side. This hasn't gone unremarked in the Premier League, whose clubs are allowed to offer contracts to 17-year-olds--the rest of Europe has to wait until the player turns 18, which has led to some famously dodgy dealings. With both Manchester clubs and Arsenal eyeing the precocious net minder, here's hoping he doesn't go the Kiko Macheda route.
We reported on the longstanding Viola interest in Marc Bartra rearing its head again last week, but now it turns out Spurs are interested as well, which means the defender probably just became too expensive for a move to Florence. And hey, speaking of defenders too expensive to move to Florence, AC Milan are considering Emmanuel Mammana. (Author rams head into desk repeatedly, is escorted from premises by workplace security.) If we're being honest, Fiorentina are more likely to buy Valerio Cardamone. "Who," you may ask, "is Valerio Cardamone?" He's 17 years old and plays centerback. He's being tracked by la Viola after recently appearing in an amateur tournament in Florence; AS Roma and Cesena are also keeping tabs on him.
Somewhat more promising is Thomas Meunier. The towering Belgian international rightback has sparkled for Club Brugge this year and is likely to seek pastures and paychecks new. He's a non-stop runner and built like a tank, but also reads the game well and can contribute going forward with good crossing, decent passing, and surprisingly nimble feet. What's more, his agent is Michelangelo Minieri, whom you doubtless recall as a former Fiorentina centerback who spent the Serie C2 season in Florence. Hopefully, that'll influence the young fullback, who's generated interest from a host of Italian and German clubs. Empoli leftback Mario Rui's agent is also mentioning Fiorentina (as well as every other top-half club in Serie A) as a potential landing place for his client, just as he did over the summer and winter windows.
Switching gears, Samuel Bastien is a Belgian 18-year-old number 10 whose rights are owned by Anderlecht. He's quick and has the look of a player about to take off, and he's familiar with Italian football, considering that he's on loan at Avellino. Unfortunately, a number of European heavyweights are also monitoring his progress.
Finally, it's time for the most exciting player linked to Fiorentina right now. He's an 18 year old attacker who plays for Santos in Brazil. If you guessed Gabriel "Gabigol" Barbosa, you're well plugged in. Nice job. Predicted to be the subject of a €15 million bid, the left-footed youngster can play out wide or through the middle. He's got everything in the toolbox you'd expect from an impressively-coiffed Brazilian attacker. Fiorentina has representatives in Sao Paulo talking to the club, so an offer seems likely. Whether that €15 mil is enough, of course, is the real question.
Heard anything else? Give us a shout in the comments.