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Report: Carlos Freitas out at Fiorentina

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The Portuguese sporting director will take the fall for the past three years, but Pantaleo Corvino will remain employed.

Torino FC v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

According to La Nazione, Fiorentina Sporting Director Carlos Freitas will step down at the end of the season. Given that his contract ended on the first day of June anyways, it’s hard to believe that he’s being sacked, but the Della Valle brothers have clearly seen enough of him and are ready to give somebody else a chance to run things. General Director Pantaleo Corvino, however, remains firmly ensconced, despite rumors that the team was ready to move on from him as well.

The 52-year-old Freitas has been the DS at Fiorentina since the summer of 2016. One of the great mysteries of calcio, of course, is what exactly the DS does; the role seems to vary from team to team. The DS is generally in charge of all personnel moves at the club (i.e. hiring coaches and staff) and tends to be fairly involved in the scouting, acquisition, and sale of players, although given the presence of Corvino, it’s hard to say how much influence Freitas has had on the transfer policy.

While Freitas has certainly had some successes at the club in terms of personnel moves, he’s also the man who oversaw the dismantling of the last vestiges of those delectable Vincenzo Montella sides. With Montella back in, it’s not hard to imagine that the two locked horns about the direction of the club, as the trend under Freitas’ watch seemed to be for big, athletic, physically impressive specimens that suited Stefano Pioli’s blood-and-thunder style than the intelligent, technical footballers that Cousin Vinnie has preferred.

Here’s a look at the players Freitas brought in, with the total euro amounts for them.

Carlos Freitas: Player purchases, 2016-2019

Player Amount (€ million)
Player Amount (€ million)
RB Kevin Diks 2.8
GK Bartłomiej Drągowski 2.5
AM Ianis Hagi 2
AM Riccardo Saponara 10.5
LB Hrvoje Milić 1
CB Sebastien de Maio 0
GK Marco Sportiello 0
DM Carlos Sánchez 3
LB Maxi Olivera 2.5
CB Carlos Salcedo 0
RW Hernán Toledo 0
CF Giovanni Simeone 15
CM Marco Benassi 10
CB Vitor Hugo 8
CM Jordan Veretout 7
CB Nikola Milenković 5.1
RB Bruno Gaspar 4
CM Bryan Dabo 4
LM Valentin Eysseric 3.5
DM Sebastian Cristoforo 3
CB Petko Hristov 1.7
LW Rafik Zekhnini 1.5
CF Martin Graiciar 1.5
CF Cyril Théréau 1.5
CM Gaetano Castrovilli 1.2
CB Germán Pezzella 9.5
LB Cristiano Biraghi 2.5
RB Vincent Laurini 2
CF Simone Lo Faso 0
CF Diego Falcinelli 0
RW Gil Dias 0
GK Alban Lafont 8.5
CB Jacob Rasmussen 7
CM Szymon Żurkowski 3.7
LB David Hancko 3.5
DM Christian Nørgaard 3.5
CB Federico Ceccherini 3.5
LW Marko Pjaca 0
CF Dušan Vlahović 1.5
RW Kevin Mirallas 0
CM Edimilson Fernandes 0
CM Gerson 0
GK Pietro Terracciano 0
All fees from Transfermarkt

And here are the sales.

Carlos Freitas: Player sales, 2016-2019

Player Amount (€ million)
Player Amount (€ million)
RB Facundo Roncaglia 0
LB Manuel Pasqual 0
CB Gianlua Mancini 0.15
CM Leonardo Capezzi 0.8
CM Marko Bakić 0.9
CM Rafał Wolski 0.5
CB José María Basanta 1
CF Mario Gómez 1.05
CF Mauro Zárate 2.75
LB Marcos Alonso 23
CM Jacopo Petriccione 0
CB Gonzalo Rodríguez 0
CM Matías Fernández 0
CF Jan Mlakar 0
GK Giacomo Satalino 0
RB Nenad Tomović 2.8
GK Ciprian Tătăruşanu 2.5
AM Ianis Hagi 2
LB Hrvoje Milić 1.5
CF Nikola Kalinić 27
AM Josip Iličić 5.5
CM Borja Valero 6.5
CM Matías Vecino 24
RW Federico Bernardeschi 40
CM Abdou Diakhate 0
RW Joshua Pérez 0
DM Milan Badelj 0
LW Ante Rebić 2
AM Riccardo Saponara 2
CF Khouma Babacar 9
RB Bruno Gaspar 4.5
DM Carlos Sánchez 4.45
All numbers via Transfermarkt

I didn’t include loan fees in the totals because that somehow messed with formatting the tables, but the total spent on players on that time, including the loan fees, is €145.13; conversely, the team made €164.75 in sales over that span, while also reducing the wage bill significantly. A caveat is that neither amount includes loan fees due this year or payments from deals like Ante Rebić’s, which could pay out more in the future.

Again, you can’t blame Freitas for the doldrums of the past 3 years: between him, Corvino, the Della Valle brothers, Pioli and Paulo Sousa, and a host of uninspiring players, there are any number of culprits. After all, Freitas was working under orders to reduce the wage bill and make the club more profitable; that means selling good players and gambling on young, damaged, or limited options, and he still managed to unearth some gems. Perhaps that’s why Monaco may well bring him aboard, as those qualities pretty well fit their model.

Fiorentina are expected to bring in a new DS to work with Corvino, although it seems a bit late in the day for that; in a perfect world, you’d want to enter the offseason with a staff that’s completely on the same page, rather than having a new arrival play catch-up for a few months, especially when he (because it’ll probably be a he) will be working with a coach, DG, and players with whom he’s not especially familiar. Hopefully the DVs, Giancarlo Antognoni, and Corvino have an idea of who Freitas’ replacement will be, because otherwise we could see another transfer window full of early inactivity, a late flurry of moves, and a squad that thus doesn’t coalesce until a month into the season.