The Fiorentina board and Martin Jørgensen have finally reached an agreement about the ex-player's future with the club. He'll join as the head of Scandanavian scouting, but will not take over as the goodwill amabassador (read: glad-hander general), due to his previous commitments (read: his wife) in Denmark.
The details of Bartłomiej Drągowski's transfer are finally coming clear. The 18 year old cost €3 million, and signed a 4 year contract with the Viola. His salary remains a mystery. He's not the only teenaged goalkeeper joining Fiorentina this mercato, though, as Carpi prospect Andrea Chiossi has also signed on for an undisclosed fee. Don't expect to see much of him right away, as he's just 14 years old, but maybe keep his name in mind for a decade or so. If you're interested in slightly more immediate matters, we've got a full report on Fiorentina, Inter, and Torino target Salvatore Sirigu here, although it sounds like he won't make any decisions until after the Euros.
Gonzalo Rodríguez is working on a contract renewal, which is very exciting news. His agent says that the Viola captain plans to stick around for another 2 years or so before returning to Argentina and retiring with San Lorenzo. His countryman Facundo Roncaglia, meanwhile, looks more and more certain to join Marcelo Bielsa's new project at Lazio. Equally in demand, albeit from Serie B quarters, is 20 year old Croatian Ricardo Bagadur. Salernitana are desperate to bring him back, but Spezia are making an attempt to pry him away; either way, the youngster should get the minutes he needs to develop into the rock-solid defender he looks like he'll become.
With so many centerbacks leaving, there are plenty tipped to join as well, although few new developments in the past couple days. Crotone's Gianmarco Ferrari was supposedly moments away from signing with Genoa, but both sides seem to have backed out at the last moment. Now Juventus and Inter Milan are both interested, but Fiorentina have been lurking in the background for months.
It's been a pretty discouraging couple of days on the fullback front, too. Genoa's Cristian Ansaldi has officially signed with Inter. Ansaldi's signing has rendered long-term Fiorentina target Davide Santon surplus to requirements, but it seems that Sampdoria and Cagliari have the inside track for his services. Olympiakos have turned down Fiorentina's offer for Norwegian international rightback Omar Elabdellaoui. The only positives are that the club is still working on a deal for Real Betis and former Primavera star Cristiano Piccini, who'd go a long way towards fulfilling the homegrown player requirements, and that Lazio rightback Abdoulay Konko, who's long been trying to find a way out of Lazio, has listed Fiorentina and Genoa as his preferred destinations.
Maksim Joksimovic, the agent of Milan Badelj, has really latched onto this "AS Roma to the rescue" idea. He's set up a meeting between Giallorossi director Walter Sabatino and Pantaleo Corvino, while harping on that the Croatian international is desperate to play in the Champions League. Even after all that, though, he says there's a 50% chance that Badelj is wearing purple next season, although the Corriere dello Sport claims that the Viola have resigned themselves to losing either Badelj or Matías Vecino. For the younger players, the club is working on a Leonardo Capezzi extension, although nothing's been signed yet. Belenenses are hoping that the Marko Bakić who looked so impressive for them is the real deal, and they're hoping to bring the Montenegrin youth international to Portugal on a permanent basis.
The list of possible Badelj replacements is lengthy, but two names currently sit at the top. The first is Hernani Azevedo Júnior, better known as Hernani, who's a 22 year old purely defensive destroyer employed by Atlético Paranaense. Fiorentina have a good replacement with the Curitibua club (Neto and Romulo are both fruits of that union), and pretty much everyone thinks it could happen. Everyone, that is, except for noted South American expert Sabatino Durante, who believes that there's no chance a deal actually happens. Nuri Şahin is the other option. Although he's said he's interested in Fiorentina, he's also said he's happy to stay at Dortmund. Alternatively, there's Pescara playmaker Valerio Verre, for whom Fiorentina are apparently competing with Sampdoria and Empoli. On the import side, UD Las Palmas midfielder Roque Mesa has made an unexpected return to the "may go to Florence" list after vanishing from the scene for months. Finally, it sounds like Paolo Faragò is now a Juventus target; Novara reportedly turned down a Viola offer last week.
Corriere dello Sport believes that Barcelona and Fiorentina are about to close a deal for Cristian Tello; apparently, they're just waiting for the player to okay everything. With another change of course in the Ianis Hagi saga--he's now going to show up at Moena, but is almost certain to return to Romania afterwards--and with the once-hyped Rafał Wolski officially sold to Legia Gdansk for a paltry €500,000, the Gigliati need more help in the attacking midfield spots. If Florence's local rag can be believed, Paulo Sousa has okayed the pursuit of Emanuele Giaccherini, which is an enlightening look at his relationship with Corvino, at least. A more exciting option, though, is Atlético Nacional speedster Marlos Moreno. With 6 caps for Colombia at just 19 years old, he's quite a prospect, although his price tag (said to be around €9 million) is a bit steep. Updating a previous item, it sounds like Fiorentina remain dead and buried in the Dennis Praet sweepstakes, as the Anderlecht number 10 is focused on Sevilla. And speaking of highly touted but ultimately failed moves, Lucas Ocampos is set for a move to Genoa.
We've covered the extensive Khouma Babacar rumors here at length, but the latest news is that Sassuolo is not in fact interested. And, while we're talking about rubbished news, Nikola Kalinić is "still in love with Florence" and won't be leaving any time soon. Giuseppe Rossi is also set to report to Moena, as none of the options he's been presented with have impressed him. Word is he prefers Italy to Spain, so maybe he will end up back in purple. Mario Gómez, on the other hand, is certain to leave. His destination remains hazy, since the German international makes Maurizio Zamparini look as constant as the Alps; Marione has, in the past 3 days, said that he's going to wait until after the Euros to make a decision, and that he's returning to Beşiktaş permanently. Next week, he'll doubtless be retiring to Fiji to practice an obscure form of yoga dedicated to helping its practitioners achieve peace with themselves and their surroundings. Former Primavera star Cedric Gondo looks like he has a pretty assured future, at least; Ternana want him back, and maybe this year they'll play the hulking Ivorian as a striker, rather than exiling him out to the wing.
Even with a glut of strikers, the press insists on linking various forwards to Fiorentina. The best known is probably Dinamo Zagreb's 21 year old Marko Pjaca. His agent is talking up Florence as an ideal landing place, which sure sounds like a smoke screen, especially given the AC Milan interest and his club's demands for anywhere between €12 and €20 million, it doesn't look likely. Manuel Pucciarelli of Empoli is a far more likely target, although his agent refuses to acknowledge any Viola interest. Bayer Leverkusen's Swiss international Admir Mehmedi looks to be a more realistic option, although Hoffenheim are also interested.