One of my biggest gripes with Daniele Pradè has been his tendency to wait to conduct mercato business until the last couple weeks of August. Even last summer, Nico Gonzalez was our only signing heading on July 31st. This summer, however, has been the opposite. Clearly, Vincenzo Italiano has asked Fiorentina’s brass to give him as complete a squad as possible. From the current rumors that are out there, I would assume the positions requested by Italiano before Moena are the following: Goalkeeper, Right Back, Torreira replacement, Castrovilli replacement, and a 2nd striker.
In my opinion, Fiorentina’s squad needs four more additional upgrades before the season start. I would like to see replacements for Matija Nastasić and Aleksa Terzić with European footy on the horizon, and a 5th winger to replace Josè Callejòn is also necessary. Finally, in an ideal world, we would sell one of Youssef Maleh or Alfred Duncan and upgrade on the left side of our midfield as well. Still, there are players who will be at Moena who will have the chance to prove that those decisions are wrong. For example, maybe Nastasić and/or Terzić come into camp improved and no upgrade is necessary. We still haven’t seen what Szymon Żurkowski can do, and maybe Christian Kouamè could be this team’s fifth winger.
With all that said, I’ll go through the current rumors at each of the five positions that the team is clearly targeting.
While Gugliemo Vicario or Marco Carnesecchi would have been ideal here, once the Vanja Milinković-Savić rumors started getting serious I would have been happy with any competent Serie A goalkeeper. With the Viola not willing to spend much this mercato, landing Pierluigi Gollini on a loan with an option to buy for €8 million is as good business as we can hope for. I thought he was solid at Atalanta, and should surely be an upgrade over Pietro Terraciano. While his performances on loan at Spurs were subpar, there’s only so much I can judge a backup goalkeeper on limited minutes. It’s absolutely worth giving Gollini a shot, and even if he doesn’t work out we know Terriciano is a serviceable Serie A keeper.
With Zeki Celik disappointingly moving to Roma for just €7 million, Fiorentina’s top target appears to still be Dodô of Shakhtar Donetsk who they will hope to sign next week.
Fiorentina, ai dettagli l’arrivo di Gollini. Poi la prossima sarà anche la settimana di Jovic e Dodô— Niccolò Ceccarini (@NickCecca) July 2, 2022
I’m not willing to get my hopes up over this move until it actually happens, because I would be over the moon. Dodô is exactly the type of player this club should be targeting, a 23-year-old talented right-back who can be sold on for more in a couple of seasons at a massive profit. A fee of around €15 million for him is fair, so let’s hope Fiorentina and Shakhtar can get this over the line later this week.
I need to learn more about the player before I judge, but spending €9 million on Rolando Mandragora and not being willing to spend more than €7 million on Lucas Torreira makes approximately 0 sense. Fiorentina has begun to tease his signing on their social media channels, and it will likely be official by the time you read this.
I need to do more research before I moan about this signing, so wait a few days to hear my full judgment. As of right now, a Mandragora-Amrabat rotation for the regista position is a definite downgrade over last season.
The two names in vogue appear to be Empoli’s Nedim Bajrami and Leicester’s Dennis Praet. Fiorentina's budget for this position seems to be around €10 million, a price at which both of the above players should be attainable. While I like each player and think they could help the Viola midfield tremendously, neither is the type of upgrade that will take us closer to the Champions League.
Still, Bajrami and Praet are also versatile and could slot in on the wing as depth if necessary. In addition, Praet’s fitness issues could be masked by the fact he wouldn’t be expected to be a game-in, game-out starter. We know Pradè loves Praet, and Bajrami is a promising young Empoli player, so both of these rumors make complete sense. Of the two, I would prefer Bajrami for the upside and lack of an injury history, but I would be satisfied with either one.
Luka Jović appears to be the chosen one to compete with Artur Cabral for the #9 spot. The formula of the Serbian’s arrival has yet to be defined, but all indications point towards his arrival being this week, in time for Moena.
Fiorentina are set to sign Luka Jović from Real Madrid. Deal in place on loan with salary shared between the two clubs [around €6m net], final details, then it’s completed. #transfers— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 29, 2022
Jović could arrive in Florence next week to undergo medical tests and sign the contract. pic.twitter.com/vp0439cBTq
A dry loan would be underwhelming, as even if Jović were to perform well there would be no chance of us keeping him. An obligation would also be strange, as Real Madrid would want more than €20 million and our investment in Cabral would make zero sense. Thus, in an ideal world, we can land an option to buy in the €20-25 million range, and if Jović lights Serie A on fire (which is very possible) we can exercise the option and either sell him for a profit or make him a cornerstone of the project next summer. He’s a player I’m really excited to watch, and once his signing is official we’ll have more in-depth analysis of what he could bring to the club.