You know what? Despite all the terrible, terrible things going on around the globe, today is a pretty good day in our happy little purple corner of the world. Today, Nikola Kalinic officially rejected a Croesus-financed move to Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian, opting instead to continue his career in Fiorentina.
Fabio Cannavaro’s side initially made contact with the Viola back in December, but we dismissed it out-of-hand as ridiculous and impossible. Over the ensuing month, though, that dismissiveness started to look mighty shortsighted as Tianjin sent representatives to meet with their target, and the media began to believe that, yes, the Croatian international would move to the Chinese Super League for a fee between €35 million and €45 million.
Kalinic, for his part, never wanted to leave Florence, as he repeatedly made clear throughout this process. The club’s brass were willing to let him go for a preposterously high sum, but Andrea Della Valle neatly summed up the prevailing opinion around the office: “If he leaves, we can use the money. If he stays, we can use his quality.” Really, Fiorentina were in a can’t-lose position.
So what’s the end result? Kalinic and his 9 league goals this season will stay in Florence, and the media are already calling for him to wear the armband at some point. Khouma Babacar will stay stuck on the bench. Corvino may still look for another striker, though, as Mauro Zarate may be on his way out as well. However, without the heaping piles of lucre a Kalinic sale would have brought, the winter mercato goals will be a bit more modest.