With a week left in the January transfer window, we can finally report our first Fiorentina signing of the month: it’s goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu. The veteran joins from Napoli, with Pierluigi Gollini going the other way.
At this juncture, it’s unclear if the 36-year-old is going to compete with Pietro Terracciano for the number one job or if he’s going to serve as the backup and cup goalkeeper, but most fans won’t complain, given how awful Gollini was during his stint in Florence. While Sirigu likely isn’t the guy who won 38 Italy caps during the heyday of Gianluigi Buffon anymore, he’s started in Serie A, Ligue 1, and la Liga through his career and should bring a calming presence to the team.
He’s also won quite a bit of silverware: the Euros in 2021 as well as 4 Ligue 1 trophies and various domestic French cups as well. If nothing else, he knows how to operate as a steady backup, drawing plaudits for his leadership from both Roberto Mancini and PSG’s carousel of coaches for his professionalism. If nothing else, he’s probably not going to drop any Gollini-level clangers, and that’s a comforting thought.
It is a puzzling that scudetto-chasing Napoli decided they’d rather have Gollorious than Sirigu, given that the former hasn’t had a decent season since 2019-2020, but Gollini is just 27 and could be a high-upside gamble in a position that Alex Meret has firmly claimed. Too, Meret and Gollini have a relationship dating back to their Udinese days that might have persuaded the Partenopei to make the move.
It’s an ignominious end to Gollini’s Fiorentina career after a very hopeful start, but it’s probably for the best that he moves. Credit to Daniele Pradè and Joe Barone for working with Atalanta to terminate his loan and shift him south, although we don’t know what percentage, if any, the Viola will pay of his salary.
The financial details of Sirigu’s deal aren’t quite as murky, at least. Napoli terminated his contract to allow him to sign with the Viola. His deal will run until the end of the season with an option for another year if it’s a good fit. While he’s likely at the stage of his career where he’s better suited to a leadership role than an everyday playing one, he could prove an excellent mentor to the likes of Tommaso Martinelli, Fiorentina’s 16-year-old mega-prospect, and to any other young goalies that the club might bring in if Terracciano moves on.
For now, though, let’s bid Gollini a fond farewell and welcome Sirigu, who, if his official photo is any indication, is going to be the All-Business Dad to Terracciano’s Fun Dad.