Everyone expect Paulo Sousa to leave Florence at the end of the season (and maybe for Juventus, which, gross). While he’s done a pretty good job with Fiorentina, all things considered, it’s almost certainly time for both parties to move on. While Pantaleo Corvino refuses to discuss picking up the Portuguese mister’s contract option for another year until April (the date they’d agreed on), media whispers have tapped Sousa for the exit, and the coach himself has talked about his ambitions to work at the top.
Unlike the Vincenzo Montella blowup 2 years ago, the Viola are being a bit more proactive about finding a replacement this time around. We’ve heard rumors about Maurizio Sarri of Napoli being the top choice, but even Aurelio de Laurentiis would think twice about firing him. Cesare Prandelli is the romantic choice, but would be a huge risk after crashing and burning at his past several stops. Instead, (the notoriously unreliable) Tuttosport reports that Corvino and company have started negotiating with Sassuolo manager Eusebio di Francesco.
47-year-old Francesco would continue Sousa’s tradition of weirdly youthful-looking coaches, but the former AS Roma man would also bring a much-needed identity. He’s brought Sassuolo from Serie B to the Europa League in just 4 years and created an attacking and entertaining style to do it. He’s also done a wonderful job of developing young talent. As he and the Neroverdi have struggled this year, it seems likely that he may jump ship for greener, or rather purpler, pastures at the end of the season. Given his coaching characteristics and the Viola’s style and squad, it looks a match made in heaven.