Pantaleo Corvino just left Moena after chatting with Paulo Sousa for several hours about Fiorentina's mercato strategy. We don't have much more information, but Corvino has assured Sousa that he's bringing a veteran winger who will raise the profile of the squad in, but hasn't named any names.
Nope. Nothing. Sorry, everyone who wanted Fiorentina to play a 2-3-3 with 3 goalkeepers.
Fiorentina have opted not to send Ricardo Bagadur back to Salernitana on loan, although it's unclear why. Perhaps they've got a better landing spot in mind. Fellow youngster Luca Zanon is wanted by Parma, who'd take him for a year on loan.
After Feyenoord's Sven van Beek seemed close to joining up last week, there's been a speed bump to the proceedings. While the Gazzetta dello Sport believed that the deal had stalled out, Tuttosport reports that the sides are back in touch; Fiorentina want him on loan for a year before they buy him, while the Rotterdam club wants €7 million right now. Corvino has a backup plan, though, and his name is Juninho (the Carlos Ferreira Junior iteration). Fiorentina have offered Coritiba €3 million for him, but the Coxa want €5 million. Both sides are still discussing the matter. Marseille and Netherlands U21 star Karim Rekik is just 21, and is the other top backup option; word has it that Corvino is lining up a deal for him in case the others fall through. Although we thought the ship had sailed on Crotone's Gianmarco Ferrari, the Pitagorici just blocked his move to AS Roma, so the Viola are still in the running. Finally, Palermo and Costa Rica defender Giancarlo González has informed Rosanero that he's leaving, with Fiorentina and Bologna very interested. Finally, Napoli have opted against signing Davide Santon, opening the door for Fiorentina once again.
Milan Badelj continues to garner admirers from afar. This time around, Monaco and, uh, Torino are the ones making eyes at him. Whatever. More likely is the news that Livorno are close to bringing Andrés Schetino back on loan for a full year. But forget all that, because we've got some official news. First, Marco Berardi is joining Tuttocuoio in Lega Pro for the year. He had some nice moments last year, but this is probably a make-or-break season for him. And, officially joining Fiorentina from (checks cue card) Urbetevere, let's welcome Marco Bayslach. He's only 14, so we probably won't hear much of him for awhile, but hey, official purchase hurray.
Tuttosport says that, as usual, the Cristian Tello deal is about to get done. Sure. We've already discussed it. Corvino has pulled the plug on Marko Dabro, though. The Croatian Primavera player never quite made the grade, and will move to Cibalia in his home nation. To replace him in the youth ranks, Urbetevere's Andrea Milani and Besnatese's Francesco Orlando will join the Primavera. They're both 14, so the odds of their contributing to the senior side are pretty low.
Not much news on the central midfield reinforcement front. Toulouse and Cote d'Ivoire's Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro is out of contract next year and is thought to be available for just €1.5 million, which would be a steal; the Viola and Villarreal are jockeying for his services. However, Benfica have rejected Fiorentina's offer to take Serbian destroyer par excellence Ljumobir Fejsa on loan, with an option to buy him; the Portuguese club knows someone will come along with a big money offer soon enough. Finally, Empoli DS Giovanni Martusciello has slammed the door on any deal involving Riccardo Saponara, saying that he believes the schemer will stay with the Azzuri.
In the attacking spots, reinforcements have arrived. Meet Hernán Toledo, who may be a conslation prize after the club lost out on Adem Ljajić, who's done a 180 and signed with a suddenly dangerous-looking Torino after all.
Much to everyone's surprise, there still haven't been any offers for Khouma Babacar. Considering that the proceeds from his big sale to England were supposed to drive this summer's mercato, Corvino and company must be rather concerned. With Napoli turning their attention back to Nikola Kalinić, things seem even less certain up top than we'd thought. On the plus side, Giuseppe Rossi has looked like a world beater at Moena and is eager to renew his contract with the club, which is up next year. Corvino wants to make sure that it's not a false dawn and see his in-season form before committing, and Bologna are hoping that it all falls apart so they can poach him. Sousa has granted Mario Gómez an extension to his summer break, since the big German is getting married. Congrats, Mario. Now stop waffling and figure out what you want, what you really really want.
In slightly unwelcome news, Genoa striker Leonardo Pavoletti has been tipped for a move to Florence. The Viola were interested earlier this summer, but the Grifoni put a crazy-big valuation on their one-hit wonder target man. Unless that number's decreased substantially, putting a lot of money on an injury-prone 27 year old who's had one good year is, er, risky. More promising is Atlético Madrid's Borja Bastón, who spent last season terrorizing defenders with Eibar. He's a big, rugged, and instinctive penalty-box operator, and may be available for a discount since he's recently picked up an injury. Swansea are also interested. Finally, Roma and Inter Milan have joined Fiorentina in the race for the "new Kalinić," Hajduk Split's 17 year old Josip Maganjić, who's out of contract next year and should be available for just €1 million.