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Sousa's Dinner With Zenit Officials Spark Rumours

The Portuguese Coach reportedly had dinner with officials with the Russian club before they watched Fiorentina's game with Empoli on Sunday

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

While Fiorentina fans are busy making their displeasure at Sunday's loss to Empoli abundantly clear, it seems that a Russian Premier League side may be a more pressing opponent for La Viola than their Tuscan rivals. Zenit St Petersburg's director of sport Henk van Stee is believed to have had dinner with Paulo Sousa on Saturday evening, then taking a seat at the Stadio Castellani for the frustrating match with the Azzurri.

Monday's edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Van Stee was spotted with a piece of paper that had five names written on it, insisting that Marcos Alonso, Nikola Kalinic, Federico Bernardeschi, and Matias Vecino are targets for his club. Empoli's Riccardo Saponara was the final name, while it is also believed the Russian side are pursuing Sousa as Coach, only for Fiorentina director general Andrea Rogg to downplay those claims.

"Zenit's presence does not create ambiguity," he told Mediaset Premium. "We want to continue together, especially as we have a two-year contract plus an option for another year. The Coach has sent no signal that he doesn't want to continue together, so we're not considering that as an option. We don't perceive this being a possibility."