Oh man, the Paulo Sousa rumor mill is churning overtime. We covered his dinner with the Zenit St Petersburg folks in depth here, but now there are whispers that Porto wants to bring him back to Portugal. Through it all, he's brushed off any and all interest, but still. Guh.
Not much news on this front, other than reports that Marco Sportiello of Atalanta, who's thought to be the top custodian on the Viola wishlist, has changed agents, which probably symbolizes his readiness for a move this summer.
Sounds like Empoli DS Domenico Carli has resigned himself to losing cetnerback Lorenzo Tonelli to Fiorentina this summer, acknowledging that the player will probably move to the local rivals. Compounding that loss is the knowledge that his Portuguese leftback Mário Rui as well, as the player has reportedly agreed to join Fiorentina as well, and Carli is willing to let him go for the right price. Just in case there's too much optimism about these workings, though, it sounds like Napoli is preparing a €12 million bid for old buddy Emanuel Mammana.
After nearly a year of Napoli very publicly pursuing Matías Vecino, it sounds like we could finally get some resolution in the form of an extension for the Uruguayan that will keep him purple until 2020, by which point he may have even scored a goal. Sticking to the Matías file, the Corriere Fiorentino thinks that the Viola are likely to receive numerous bids for Mati Fernández, who's been linked to a number of clubs in Italy and South America. His departure could make room for Thiago Maia. Words has it that Fiorentina has sent representatives to meet with the Santos brass to make a deal for the 19 year old midfielder, whom the Viola have admired for some time. Hard to blame them, considering that he does stuff like this.
Maia's not the only Santos player Fiorentina are chasing after, though; Gabriel Barbosa, alias Gabigol, has also been in the club's sights for awhile, and could be available for about €18 million, or €25 in conjunction with Maia. The "next Neymar" is maybe a bit much for him, but he sure looks like the real deal, and would maybe fit in better than Josip Iličić, who's being scouted by Leicester City (full coverage here). He could also replace Nikola Kalinić, whose agent has again refused to link the striker's future to his current club.