In a move that will surprise precisely nobody, Mati Fernandez has joined Cagliari in a deal whose terms haven’t been disclosed. A lackluster last season and a significant knee injury ahead of the Copa America depressed his market significantly, but he’s got the quality to go down as a steal for Massimo Rastelli and co.
Matigol joined Fiorentina for a bargain bin price of €3.14 million at the start of the Vincenzo Montella and Daniele Prade revolution after a successful spell at Sporting CP. Originally touted as a top-notch starter in a midfield desperate for talent, he was eclipsed by the signings of Borja Valero, Alberto Aquilani, and David Pizarro shortly thereafter. An injury-riddled first season kept him mostly on the bench. The year after, though, he seized a place in the middle of the park and wowed the Viola faithful with his dynamism, work rate, and gift for worming through an opposing defense to the edge of the box. He finished the season as the club’s best player, with 2 goals and 12 assists in 41 appearances.
Unfortunately, exhaustion from Chile’s stunning Copa America run the following summer sapped him of energy, and he looked a husk of himself under Paulo Sousa, who used him in an unfamiliar advanced and wider position. Another run of injuries—including an impacted molar, of all things—and the arrivals of Carlos Sanchez and Sebastian Cristoforo probably spelled the end of his time in Florence. He’ll finish his stint here with 131 appearances, 7 goals, and 28 assists. Cagliari’s got a good player, Mati’s got a chance to get his feet back under him, and we’re left with nothing but his highlights.
[update 1:30 PM]
Uh oh. Looks like Montella and AC Milan are trying to hijack this one while the player’s in Milan meeting with Cagliari representatives. We’ll update as more information becomes available, but this could wind up as a Berbatov situation.
[update 4:23 PM]
Wow. Looks like Milan have, in fact, beat Cagliari to him. They’ll get Mati on loan with an option (or more likely a requirement) to buy at the end of the year. He just Berbatoved Cagliari. Oof. Uh, our bad.