We’ve been pretty certain for months that Paulo Sousa won’t be pacing around the Fiorentina technical area next season, and FirenzeViola.it has some pretty compelling evidence that his replacement will be Sassuolo boss Eusebio di Francesco. The media outlet somehow broke Pantaleo’s Cone of Silence and got video of the Viola DS meeting with di Francesco yesterday at chez Corvino after the awards ceremony at Coverciano. And, even more importantly, word is that the former Empoli and AS Roma midfielder has enthusiastically consented to the switch.
This should be the final nail in Sousa’s coffin, although given his recent talks with Borussia Dortmund, he probably won’t be too heartbroken. Di Francesco, however, is likely to remain in Modena until season’s end, which sets up someone (Vincenzo Guerini remains undefeated on the Gigliati bench) to work as a caretaker if the Della Valles decide that Sousa’s lame duck status is hurting the team.
Di Francesco’s contract with the Neroverdi runs another year, so there remains the matter of a buyout, although Mapei may be willing to let him go after his charges have slumped to 15th in Serie A, although they at least look assured of avoiding relegation. He’ll leave a hero, having brought tremendous success to the previously unfashionable side, and will look to bring a fresh breath of air to Fiorentina with his attacking 4-3-3 formation that should suit the personnel at the club quite nicely.
Andrea Della Valle is believed to have given the union his blessing, although the official announcement probably won’t come before Easter. Of course, this could be a truly next-level bluff by Corvino before he signs up one of Claudio Ranieri, Luciano Spalletti, Rolando Maran, Marco Giampaolo, or Leonardo Semplici, but di Francesco is definitely in pole position for the Viola job. He certainly looks the part, and if this proves true, we’d be thrilled.