We’ve already discussed Tianjin Quanjian’s ambitious plan to table €40 million for the services of Nikola Kalinic. Tianjin manager Fabio Cannavaro (man, that’s a weird sequence of words) tapped the Croatian hitman as his top target in the January market. And, not to toot our own horn or anything (beep beep), but it’s run into the obstacles that we predicted.
While the €9 million salary that Kalinic would earn under the proposed deal would certainly please him, he has no interest in leaving Fiorentina at all, much less for the trackless wilderness of the Chinese Super League. While he’d be the unquestioned first-choice striker and probably score gobs of goals, the prospect of living in a very foreign country and far from the eyes of Croatia boss Ante Cacic apparently gave Nikola cold feet.
With former Shakhtar Donetsk star Jadson the only other player on the squad with European experience, Kalinic may also have worried that he would have received even less service than he does for the Viola. Anyways, it was probably all moot anyways; Kaligol’s new contract contains a €50 million release clause, and it sounds like Tianjin are unwilling to increase their offer to that magic number.
So, one brief intrigue later, Paulo Sousa will get his wish to keep one of his favorite players in the club for the (probably brief) remainder of his tenure as Viola boss. While it’s nice to see the club stand up for itself and not grovel for the cash, it probably wouldn’t have been a bad deal and would have let Corvino rebuild things nicely. But let’s not get hung up on hypotheticals, and instead enjoy Kalinic scoring more goals in purple.