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Viola weighing central defenders to replace Gonzalo

Or they could, you know, just SIGN HIM TO A REASONABLE CONTRACT, but whatever.

AC ChievoVerona v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A
Really don’t want this to be our final image of Gonzalo.
Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images

We’ve previously discussed our disgust with the Gonzalo Rodriguez contract impasse (the tl;dr version is that Fiorentina ought to offer him an extension that doesn’t include a massive pay cut), but it seems that we’d better start preparing ourselves for a post-Gonzalo existence, as his contract is up at the end of the season and it’s doubtful that he’d return to Florence after this treatment at the club’s hands, especially as Inter Milan beckons. Corvino, for his part, is now looking at options to replace him in the backline.

Former Juventus man Martin Caceres is an obvious choice. The oft-injured Uruguayan still hasn’t signed with a club after his contract with the Bianconeri ran out last summer, and he’d be the sort of low-cost, high-ceiling reclamation project that the Viola seem to specialize in. There were rumbles in the media that Fiorentina would snap him up last summer, but his ongoing injuries scared everyone off. Still only 29 years old, he’s certainly got the quality to help the club, but his fragile ankles and hamstrings may prevent keep him out of the purple shirt.

Marios Oikonomou is another player linked with a Viola move last summer. The Greek international is almost certainly ready for a step up from Bologna, having performed admirably for the Felsinei on a Bosman from Cagliari in 2014. However, he’s stylistically rather similar to Davide Astori, which could pump the brakes on a move as their elegant style generally flourishes better next to a more rugged, aggressive defensive partner. Even with a contract that doesn’t expire until 2020, he could be available for somewhere in the €5 million range.

The final option we’ve heard a lot about is Giancarlo Gonzalez. The Costa Rica stalwart seemed likely to leave Palermo this past summer, with Florence mooted as a potential destination, but ultimately stayed put. He’s established himself as the first-choice centerback, but has had injury issues this season and may well be tired of the chaos that comes with working for Zamparini. He’s a cagey defender and his contract runs out in 2018, so he could be available on the cheap at the end of the year.

Of course, it’s awfully early to speculate on all this, as the replacement probably won’t arrive until this summer. The club clearly doesn’t see any internal options as obvious replacements for the out-bound captain, as Carlos Salcedo has recently fallen out of favor and Sebastien de Maio inexplicably remains behind Nenad “Taxes” Tomovic in the pecking order. But one of these three could well feature in the heart of the Fiorentina defense next year.