So, uh, this is taking a really weird turn. We’ve talked about Tianjin Quanjian’s burning desire to sign Nikola Kalinic, up to the point of offering €45 million. Well, news is leaking out that perhaps that burning desire is more low smolder than all-consuming blaze, as the Chinese side’s offer has dropped to just €30 million.
Sure, €30 million for a 29-year-old striker whose erratic finishing and general inconsistency sometimes overcome his natural ability is a heck of a deal. Considering that Fiorentina brought him in for just €5.5 million. I mean, yeah, he looked fine at Dnipro, but he was pretty much a failure at Blackburn, which is his only other non-Croatian stop. So yeah, turning a nearly €25 million profit on a talented but flawed player who’s pushing 30 years of age is never a bad thing.
But what happened? We all know that the Chinese Super League is offering outrageously inflated contracts to any decent player right now, but it sounds like the Chinese government isn’t particularly thrilled about it despite originally handing down the directive to spend more. Concerned that they’re starting to look a bit, hm, gross, Beijing has “suggested” that soccer teams chill out a little bit.
Hence the €15 million reduction in asking price. Again, it’s still a heck of a profit, especially considering that Khouma Babacar is waiting in the wings and just begging to be handed a starter’s berth for the first time in his Viola career, but this deal is suddenly a lot less appealing than it was, and Fiorentina could opt to hang onto their star striker now. Some media outlets claim that Corvino will still happily cash in if Kalinic agrees to the move, but we’re still not sure if a) Nikola has any interest in relocating to China, or b) if Pantaleo will pull the trigger for a reduced rate.