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No news on Pasqual contract talks

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The longest-serving Viola player's tenure may be winding down, which is a really not cool thing.

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Normally, it's not news when a 34 year old part-time player isn't offered a new contract. But when that player is Manuel Pasqual, it's a different story. The leftback has spent his entire Serie A career with Fiorentina, after moving over from Arezzo in 2005, scoring 10 goals and notching 36 assists in 355 appearances for the club. For those counting, that means he's got the second-most appearances of any Viola player ever, behind just Giancarlo Antognoni.

Manny's contract expires on 30 June of this year. For the past several seasons, he's renewed on a yearly basis, signing a one year contract and then getting back to business on the field. This year, though, he's let slip that no contract is forthcoming, and that the club hasn't even entered talks with him; the not-so-subtle hint is that it's time for him to pack his bags and go.

This is problematic for a couple of reasons. For one, there's not a lot of depth at leftback behind Marcos Alonso, who's not exactly a world-beater himself. While Fiorentina has been linked to several replacement leftbacks, Pasqual remains a reasonable backup, a known quantity who's perfectly adequate against lower-level opposition.

On a less pragmatic note, this is also a guy who's spent 11 years with the club, several as captain (albeit by dint of longevity of service rather than talent or leadership). He's just 23 matches from overtaking Antognoni for the club lead in appearances. He's never been anything but a model professional, and from his benchings through the years in favor of Massimo Gobbi and Juan Vargas and Alonso to rumors of big money moves to AC Milan and Napoli to being stripped of the armband on Paulo Sousa's arrival, he's never said or done anything even remotely unprofessional. His €1.05 salary is a bit high, but worth paying for another year or two, and he'd probably reduce it if anyone thought to ask. Hopefully, the office will figure it out and sign him back up for next season. If not, we'll always have this.