To date, Fiorentina’s summer mercato has been suspiciously quiet. By this point in the last two summer windows, important signings such as Nico Gonzalez and Dodo had already been announced. As someone who believes having as much of the final squad together before preseason is important for both the Viola’s chemistry off the pitch and performance on it, this silence is worrying. While a deal for Boulaye Dia appears to be fairly advanced, and a new goalkeeper seems almost certain to arrive, I wouldn’t expect much other movement from Fiorentina this summer.
One thing that is known, however, is that Aleksa Terzić wants to leave the club in search of more playing time. I’ll always have a soft spot for the Serb as Pantaleo Corvino’s final signing, and this request is merited, as Terzić’s play last season warrants a starting role at a mid-table Serie A club.
When considering how to replace Terzić, the in-house option would be to move Luca Ranieri to the same role and sign another center back. Given Ranieri’s own performances as a center-back down the stretch (especially in the Conference League Final), however, I imagine Italiano wants to continue using the 24-year-old as a center-half.
Thus, Fiorentina are on the market for a Terzić replacement, and they appear to be shooting high, targeting Fabiano Parisi from our Tuscan neighbor Empoli. Gianluca di Marzio, probably the most reliable national reporter for Fiorentina, has reported that Fiorentina hopes to close a deal for roughly €10 million plus €2 million in bonuses.
Parisi, 23, was one of Serie A’s best left-backs last season, and his play has led to clubs such as Lazio and Juventus considering a move for him. Given what I’ve already said, you can tell that I would be pretty excited about this move. While Cristiano Biraghi has impressed me both on and off the pitch under Vincenzo Italiano, he’ll be 31 in September and the club will need to start looking for a genuine replacement in the next year or two. Parisi would not just be a replacement, however, but an upgrade. While he’s lacking the dead-ball ability of Biraghi, in many other offensive aspects (especially taking players on 1 v 1), Parisi would be an excellent fit for Italiano.
While I would love this signing, I find it confusing for several reasons. From Fiorentina’s perspective, I don’t see why left-back is an urgent need for the squad right now. Given Rocco Commisso’s spending over the last three years, spending eight figures on a left-back, especially when Biraghi is already one of his favorite players, doesn’t quite add up. Rather, I suspect this is Vincenzo Italiano pushing behind the scenes to get this deal done. In addition, there were rumors of a fallout between Fiorentina and Empoli’s management around deadline day last summer, when various deals for Syzmon Zurkowski, Parisi, and Nedim Bajrami all fell through for one reason or another. The fact that the two sides appear to be discussing transfers once again is a good sign.
From Parisi’s perspective, both Lazio and Juventus could likely offer more minutes at a more prestigious club. Why, then, would he choose the Viola over either of those options? I would imagine both clubs want the player and have the money necessary to purchase him, so we’ll have to wait and see. In addition, as of right now, both clubs have European football to offer Parisi and guarantee more minutes. For that reason, part of me suspects that Parisi and/or Fiorentina have received guarantees of the Viola’s participation in the Conference League next campaign. Just 38 Serie A matches would not be enough game time to keep both Parisi and Biraghi happy.
With all that being said, this signing would be fantastic and a real statement of intent from the Viola. While I’m cautious that this deal will actually happen for the reasons described above, if it does get across the line, bravo. A theoretical mercato consisting of Dia, Parisi and Dominik Livaković, while retaining Sofyan Amrabat, would have me the most excited I’ve been for a new season in nearly a decade.