Italian news outlet Tuttosport reports that the Viola plan to part company with a number of players as early as this Summer.
Most of the names on the list will come as no surprise due to protacted and public contract negotiations (Gonzalo), persistent chatter of a desire to leave (Badelj), the recent acquisition of other players at their position (Tatarasanu and Ilicic), or simply not representing value for money (Tello and De Maio).
The name on the list that most stands out is that of Borja Valero, not least because the heir apparent to the captain’s armband is under contract until Summer 2019. Despite having begun to show the first signs of decline, the Spaniard remains a key part of the team, and the lack of quality centre mids left should both Valero and Badelj leave in the Summer makes a potential exit seem ill-conceived and unlikely. What seems more likely then is that the club has decided that they will likely not offer Borja a renewal at the end of his current contract.
Although his understated brilliance has gone largely unnoticed outside of Italy in the age of Youtube highlight videos set to awful dance music, Borja is venerated within the Tuscan capital, and has stated on multiple occasions that he hopes to retire a Fiorentina player. Should the club decide to cut him loose in 2019 it will likely be met with discontent from the Viola faithful.
That said, it’s impossible to know how sharply a player will decline, and should Valero - currently the club’s highest earner - be unwilling to take a significant pay cut when his contract is up the decision to let him walk may very well be a prudent one.
Irrespective of what the future holds for the one-time Spanish international, the five seasons he’s spent with Fiorentina so far will be enough to cement his position as one of the club’s best players of the 21st Century. In celebration of that, here’s a Borja Valero Youtube highlight video set to awful dance music: