Mario Gómez in Florence began with promise, but quickly soured into an extended tragedy. His move to Beşiktaş last season seemed like it was in everyone's best interests. It gave the German international a fresh start in a new league. It gave the Black Eagles the sort of striker they could build a team around. And it gave Fiorentina relief from Marione's significant wage bill, as well as a chance to recoup a not-insignificant percentage of their expenditure on him. The deal sent him to Istanbul for a year, with Beşiktaş having the chance to make the move permanent for just €1000, as well as 40% of all future proceeds from his sale.
And, as recently as last month, a sale seemed imminent. In 31 domestic appearances, Gómez has notched 24 goals and 6 assists, to go with a pair of Europa League goals in 5 appearances. He's back to his predatory best, playing the offside line perfectly or bustling to the exact right spot in the box before applying a simple and collected finish. He'd garnered interest from a variety of big-name clubs, most notably Real Madrid and Manchester United, who hoped his rugged goalscoring would provide them with the battering ram approach they needed. It looked like Beşiktaş would cash in on him, redeeming him from Fiorentina for a song before selling him elsewhere for a handsome profit.
But the Turks got greedy, deciding they wanted to keep the talismanic forward. Mario, eyeing a return to the German international set-up, was dismayed by this development, as he clearly wanted to prove himself in one of the big leagues ahead of the Euros, and flatly stated that he wouldn't return to the Superlig next year, touching off a minor firestorm and dozens of conflicting reports.
We heard him say that he wasn't going back, period. We heard that his agent was trying to get Fiorentina to cancel the loan deal. We heard Beşiktaş AD Metin Albayrak say that the player was staying. We heard that Fiorentina gave the Turkish club an extension to sort things out with their rebellious player. We heard that Mario would return to Fiorentina. We heard club president Ahmet Nur Çebi set a deadline at the end of this month.
The player has finally broken his silence with a post to his Facebook page yesterday. He encouraged solidarity between the club, the players, and the fans, and definitively and assertively claimed that, well, he hasn't ruled anything out yet, but that he and his agent and representatives from both clubs will meet after the season's end to hammer out his future. Which basically puts us right back where we started: trying to figure out what works best for everyone.