Alfredo Pedulla reports that Marco Sportiello has agreed to terms with Fiorentina, and all that remains is the deal with Atalanta. The 24-year-old goalkeeper has been linked to the Viola on and off for more than a year, and may finally return to Tuscany (he spent a year at yes, you guessed it, Poggibonsi) if it all comes together.
After spending 2 years as la Dea’s number one, Gianpiero Gasperini exiled him to the bench in favor of Lazio and Albania man Etrit Berisha. After starting nearly every match for the Nerazzuri between 2014 and 2016, Sportiello found himself in a timeshare. This year, he’s gotten just 10 matches (8 in Serie A, 2 in the Coppa Italia), and has kept 2 clean sheets while making 2.3 saves per 90 minutes, good for 20th in Serie A.
While the numbers don’t do him justice, he’s still a very good player. A former U21 international, he was briefly considered the top goalkeeping prospect in Italy, and still looks to have a very bright future with club and country (although it’s unlikely he’ll unseat Gianluigi Donnaruma after Gianluigi Buffon finally hangs up his gloves).
Ever since Gasperini called his abilities into question, though, he’s seemed likely to leave Atalanta. Napoli has been the other club tapped as a destination, but Florence seems the likeliest destination right now. There remain a pair of caveats, though: first, the clubs haven’t agreed on terms yet, and la Dea may want a big payout for a player whose contract runs until 2020. Second, Sportiello has vocally expressed his desire to play starter’s minutes, and Ciprian Tatarusanu is a formidable obstacle. However, the young Italian may receive assurances that the Romanian number one is on his way out, and that he’ll be the man next season.
If the deal goes through, it’ll be a coup for Pantaleo Corvino. It’s not every day you get to add a future Italy international, even if there’s a bit of tarnish on him. But nothing’s final yet, and we’ve been burned too many times to really be sure that this is going to happen.