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Fiorentina monitoring Alberto Grassi

Atalanta's defensive midfielder has put in some strong performances this year and may have earned a move away from Bergamo.

Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Alberto Grassi of Atalanta has been solid since Daniele Baselli moved to Torino, and he's been linked to Fiorentina by various outlets for the past few weeks as the top potential replacement for Mario Suárez, who's presumed to be on his way out. And no, he's not a slightly dorky musician, contrary to what YouTube would have you believe.

Grassi has started 12 matches for la Dea this season, accumulating a (slightly alarming) 7 yellow cards, including 2 in the upset win at AS Roma; since he's just a 20 years old, though, and playing his first full season in Serie A, he's still adjusting to the big leagues. He's also a youth international, getting his second start for the Azzurinni in their most recent game, the U21 Euro U21 qualifier against Lithuania.

As a player, he's tenacious, tough in the tackle (albeit prone to fouling, clearly) and adept at cutting out opponents' passes. He averages 3.6 tackles and 2.5 interceptions per 90 minutes. He's not a particularly prolific passer, but that could be more a function of Atalanta's tendency to concede possession and play on the break. He prefers to keep his passing tidy, rarely trying the long ball or the incisive pass. He's more of a mobile destroyer, although it's possible that the passing side of the game will come to him in time.

For what estimates would cost about €1 million, he could be a cheap potential to Suárez with some developmental upside. He's also a U21 national teammate of Federico Bernardeschi, so that'd be a cool connection, too. And, while he has yet to score in his senior career, here he is bundling one over for the Atalanta Primavera against Milan last year and getting stuck in the net.