Well, that escalated quickly. Luca Cigarini of Atalanta is ready to move to Fiorentina,with personal terms signed, sealed, and delivered. The obstacle is la Dea; having just lost Alberto Grassi to Napoli (no bitterness here), they're loath to ship out another midfielder in this window. Daniele Pradè is working hard, though, on completing a deal to bring the player into the fold.
The rapid-fire courtship only began last week. A cynic might say that, denied a chance to sign Grassi, Fiorentina are trying to rebound by signing any old Atalanta midfielder (Marten de Roon has popped up in the rumor mill as well, but is less likely to move in this window). Without a direct replacement lined up, the sides remain €2 million apart as of yesterday.
The 29-year-old midfield boss is a low-risk sort of player, but an undoubtedly talented one. After starring for Italy's youth setup, he's embarked on a solid career, with stints at Parma, Napoli, and Sevilla. He's spent more time with the Bergamo outfit than anywhere else, most recently making a loan from Napoli permanent in 2013. Nicknamed "il professore," he's a cerebral player occasionally likened to Andrea Pirlo. He's probably a bit more defensively capable, although he's certainly not got the vision and style of Pirlo (despite recently growing a beard). He's started half of Atalanta's matches this year, scoring a goal and 5 yellow cards, and even worn the armband. Hard-working and passable in defense, he's at worst a significant upgrade over Joan Verdú.
Oh, and it seems he shares slakas' views on the quality of Italian referees, so there's that.