Since there’s not a lot of news going right now, a lot of people are thinking about the transfer market in lieu of, you know, actually watching soccer. Given how uncertain the mercato is going to be this year in light of the circumstances, adding players for free seems like it could be the safest approach. That’s why I’m going to start a short series running down every position for Fiorentina outlining the top 5 Bosman options this summer. The rules are simple: the player has to be out of contract at season’s end and have some reasonable chance of actually signing for Fiorentina (so no Layvin Kurzawa).
Goalkeeper is probably dead last on the list of needs for Fiorentina. Bartłomiej Drągowski is one of the best custodians in Serie A already and is still improving. At just 22 years old, he should have more than a decade at the top and doesn’t seem at all interested in leaving Florence, which is pretty impressive considering how the club treated him for the first few years of his tenure.
There may be space to add some depth, though. Pietro Terracciano is a good veteran presence who’s obviously happy to work as the backup, doesn’t earn a huge wage, and seems to be a good locker room presence. As a player, though, he’s anything but steady; as he showed against Lazio last year, he can make a succession of world-class saves as easily as he can utterly bork his lines in possession.
Between Michele Cerofolini, Simone Ghidotti, and Federico Brancolini, the Viola have a trio of superb young prospects all 21 or younger waiting for a chance as well. All this indicates that, if Fiorentina opts for a goalkeeper in this window, they’ll want a guy who’s on the downside of his career and is happy to work as a mentor more than a starter. After scanning the expiring contracts, here are the 5 guys who make sense to me in terms of wages and role.
One of the most decorated goalkeepers of his generation and an absolute legend for Chile, Bravo is probably going to leave Manchester City this summer. Although he’s 37 years old now, he’s still probably good enough to start for plenty of clubs. If he’s comfortable in a reserve role, though, I can’t imagine a better mentor for Bart. He also fits with Rocco Commisso’s apparent desire to sign big names, even if they’re a bit past their primes. However, Bravo’s €4.6 million salary looks mighty heavy; it’s hard to imagine Rocco’s pockets reaching that deep for a glorified assistant coach. Add to that the fact that he’s never played in Italy and may not want to learn a new language and culture at this point in his career and you can build a stronger case for why he’s not coming than why he is. Still, it’s nice to imagine.
Pros: talent, experience
Cons: wage, role, language
Likelihood that he’s a target: 10%
The 35-year-old Croatian has been at Monaco for eight years but has dropped to third in the pecking order now, making just a single appearance in the league cup. It’s a foregone conclusion that he’s on his way out, with significant interest from Saudi outfit Al-Nassr. While Fiorentina certainly can’t compete in terms of salary, the chance to stay in a top league might be enough to tempt the World Cup hero to sign on the line. He and Bart are about the same size and build, which would make him a perfect mentor for the young Pole, and his noted leadership would make him a fantastic dressing room addition, but that Saudi money is awfully tough to refuse.
Pros: talent, experience, leadership
Cons: salary, role, language
Likelihood that he’s a target: 15%
At 38 years old, the former Real Madrid, Sevilla, and Villarreal goalkeeper still has a bit left in the tank, as he showed at Espanyol; while los Periquitos are at the bottom of the table, López has been pretty solid. He’s got some experience in Italy, having spent 2016-2017 on loan at AC Milan (albeit mostly on the bench behind Gianluigi Donnarumma), so the language and culture wouldn’t be a huge problem, and his agent reps a number of Spanish players in Serie A. He’s also spent much of his career as a backup, frequently to Iker Casillas, so he knows the role quite well. With in domestic, continental, and international competitions, he’d make an excellent sounding board, and his steady personality would do well. The only real stumbling block is his salary, which is nearly as high as Bravo’s. If he’s willing to slash that number at least in half, though, Florence would make a pretty nice landing spot if he wants to try calcio again.
Pros: talent, role, experience
Likelihood that he’s a target: 25%
Turning to the domestic market, Marchetti is a pretty good option. Now 37, he’s been at Genoa since 2018, mostly serving as a backup to young gun Ionuț Radu; the former Italy international hasn’t played a minute this year, although that didn’t stop him from getting red carded in the Grifone’s final match against Milan after he cussed out the refs for adding too much stoppage time. That sort of fire is exactly what you want out of your veteran backup goalie—Tommaso Berni’s made a career out of it—and his enthusiasm and willingness to mentor youngsters Radu and Mattia Perin makes him an excellent candidate for the same job in Florence. He’s also reportedly garnered interest from Salernitana and Empoli in Serie B, which would likely offer him a chance for matchday action, but if Marchetti’s ready to wind down his storied career, Fiorentina would be a perfect spot.
Pros: experience, wage, role, leadership
Cons: former Lazio player
Likelihood that he’s a target: 40%
The Bassano del Grappa (also Marchetti’s hometown, weirdly enough) native can still play, as he showed in keeping a clean sheet at AC Milan for Sassuolo in relief of Andrea Consigli this year, but you can’t be 39 and not know that your career is getting close to the end. He’s another who’d make an excellent mentor for Bart, having played all over northern Italy. His roots at Hellas Verona and stints at Tuscan outfits Fiorenzuola and Siena (boo hiss) make Florence as likely a destination as any for him. The only real downside is that he’s always bounced around between the first and second tiers and may not be a great option if he has to play extended minutes, especially given his age and injury risk. Still, you can’t find a better teacher than a guy who’s been a professional for nearly as long as most of the Viola goalkeepers have been alive. He also shares an agent with Terracciano, Federico Ceccherini, Gerson, and Romulo, so there are certainly channels of communication open to make this happen.
Pros: experience, role, salary
Cons: relative obscurity
Likelihood that he’s a target: 30%