It is no surprise Fiorentina are in the market for another defender, and until now it was believed Lisandro Lopez, the Argentine centerback currently at Benfica, was the priority.
However it now appears the focus is on another Argentine, 19 year old River Plate prospect and first team player Emanuel Mammana, a standout for the Argentine U17 and U20 sides who was capped for the senior team in 2014 as a vote of confidence.
It has been confirmed that Fiorentina have offered over six million Euroes plus bonsues to River Plate, however this has been deemed to low by the Argentine club, who are looking for eight if not ten million. Sousa wants another player who can play across the back line, and both the Italian and Argentine media have confimed the focus is on the technically gifted Mammana.
The Argentine defender is a pure sweeper, even more skilled than Fiorentina's defensive general Gonzalo Rodriguez. He lacks those moments of maddess that many sweepers, including Gonzalo and going all the way back to Passarella are known for; don’t except that stereotypical Argentine defender passion that often crosses the line to violence, this is a calm, intelligent player, even at 19. He started his career as a midfielder and has been trusted by River coach Macelo Gallardo as a right back on a few occasions, because his positioning and skill is so good. He is best as a CB, but would be an ideal right option in a three man defense.
Mammana is also known for his character; he had a rough childhood, losing his mother at the age of six, and then his father in 2011 only a few years after being recruited by River Plate. Despite these tragedies, he has managed to avoid any notable distractions, and has a reputation of being a leader while playing with the U-17s and U-20s; he was a standout for Argentina's 2013 South America winning U-17 squad. Alejandro Sabella rewarded him with an opportunity to train with the senior national team in 2014 as they prepared for the World Cup, and he even made an appearence against Slovenia due to injuries, replacing Javier Mascherano. Coincidentally, both Mascherano and Mammana made appearences for Argentina before their senior club teams (both of them part of the River Plate youth setup at the time).
His big issue is his lack of a physical presence; although he isn't that notably short at six feet (1.83m) tall, he is primarily a cerebreal, finesse based player, and one who can be outmuscled, and will need to develop physically to play against adults regularly. He is mediocre at best in the air, especially compared to Lisandro Lopez or fellow River Plate prospect, the Colombian Eder Alvarez Balanta.
If Fiorentina and River Plate are to find a price that works for all parties, it will most likely be a June transfer. While the Viola need help now, this is prospect that fits the clubs identity as well as you can hope for.