Fiorentina does a lot of shopping in the discount aisles of the transfer superstore, and there’s no aisle more discounted than the Bosman one. So, here’s a list of players whose contracts run out this summer and who could be of interest to the Viola. For the record, this is purely speculative, and none of these guys are actually tapped for a move to Florence, at least not yet.
For the love of all that is holy, please do not bring in anymore goalkeepers. Ciprian Tatarusanu, Marco Sportiello, Bartlomiej Dragowski, and Giacomo Satalino are sufficient. Jeez.
Marco Andreolli (Inter Milan): Although he’s more of a penalty-box defender than we’re used to in Florence, the 30-year-old is a good stopper who’s strong in the air and the tackle and reads the game well. He’s spent a lot of time on the bench at Inter and would surely snap up the chance to earn a starting role for another big Italian club, especially one that could reasonably afford his €1 million wage.
Luca Caldirola (Werder Bremen): Comfortable in the heart of the defense or on the left, the 26-year-old former Inter man is just the sort of versatile piece that Corvino usually covets. He’s perhaps a bit too similar to Davide Astori, but he’d be a good addition nonetheless. With several English clubs supposedly circling, this would be a great chance to bring a talented defender back to the peninsula.
Mauro (Eibar): The 27-year-old Argentine is an all-action figure at the back, with a habit for dramatic clearances and sliding interventions. He’s outgrown Eibar and is ready for the next rung in the prestige hierarchy, and Florence would be a perfect landing spot. He plays a lot like Gonzalo in a lot of ways, except without the passing ability or the history of knee injuries.
Johan Djourou (Hamburg): The 29-year-old Swiss centerback is prone to injuries and the occasional jaw-dropping blunder, but he’s also an accomplished defender at the highest levels of the game, with experience across the Bundesliga, the Premier League, and 66 international caps. As a quick, agile, and powerful centerback, he could be a perfect Gonzalo replacement.
Benoit Tremoulinas (Sevilla): The 31-year-old Frenchman has everything you want in a leftback, with pace, stamina, crossing, and defensive grit. He’s even earned 5 caps with les Bleus. Of course, he’s also missed most of the year with a meniscus tear. Sound like your typical Fiorentina reclamation project?
Victor Alvarez (Espanyol): The 24-year-old Spanish leftback has reportedly had one foot out the door at Espanyol since the start of the year. Having survived a heart surgery 4 years ago, he’s healthy again and raring to go. A very attack minded player, he’d probably do well as a wingback, what with his pace, stamina, crossing, and quality on the ball. A young, cheap player who’d form the forward-thinking half of a leftback platoon with Hrvoje Milic or Maxi Olivera, he’d certainly improve the squad.
Miguel Veloso (Genoa): Rumor has the Viola in for the Portuguese schemer every year, so why not pick him up for free? He’s defensively sound, his creativity in the deeper positions would give the club something different, and he could wind up being the perfect Milan Badelj replacement. If he doesn’t move to China for a massive payout, Florence would be an ideal destination for all parties involved.
Davide di Gennaro (Cagliari): It’s not just because he look excellent against Fiorentina; the 28-year-old Etnei star is a versatile midfielder who can run the show as a regista. He spreads the ball to the wings excellently and does enough to break up opposition attacks that he’s not a defensive liability. He’s another option as a good, cheap Badelj replacement.
Perparim Hetemaj (Chievo Verona): The 30-year-old Finn is a non-stop runner blessed with pace, stamina, technique, and vision. Although he may be a bit too similar to Matías Vecino, his ability to drive forward into the final third from midfield would be invaluable for a team that stagnates in attacking areas. His occasionally rash tackling is a red flag, but he’s otherwise a very complete midfielder.
Mathieu Flamini (Crystal Palace): It’d be a Serie A homecoming for the longtime AC Milan enforcer. He’s definitely best suited to a part-time role at this stage in his career, but he’d be perfect in that Massimo Ambrosini or Giulio Migliaccio role. His €1.5 million salary would probably fit just fine within the wage scale, too.
Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland): Already linked to Fiorentina over the winter break, the 31-year-old Swede would make a good backup signing in midfield and gets bonus points for his ability to play out wide. With a salary around €2 million, he’d have to take a cut, but it’d be worth it to be away from David Moyes.
Isaac Cuenca (Grenada): The la Masia product has had a rather uneven professional career, but there’s no denying that he’s an excellent player when he wants to be. At 26 years old, his best football may well still be ahead of him, and his wages are fairly cheap. While he lacks the pure pace of Cristian Tello, he’s a better all-around footballer and possesses a good footballing mind. He’d be a good fit as the next Spanish winger in Florence.
Michael Krohn-Dehli (Sevilla): Another talented veteran coming off a severe injury (fractured kneecap, which makes me cringe just writing it), he’d almost certainly be available for cheap. He’s a versatile attacker who generally plays out on the wing, where he uses his intelligence more than his athleticism to beat his man. He could be a bargain-bin sort of player if he can get his health sorted out.
Rachid Ghezzal (Lyon): The 24-year-old Algerian winger is the sort of tricky dribbler who gives defenders fits. After turning down an extension with L’OM, it’s common knowledge that he’s on his way out, but his destination remains a mystery. West Ham have been linked to him, but there’s no reported interest from his camp as of yet. Italy may be a better option than England, especially since his brother Abdelkader plays for Como. With 11 caps for Algeria under his belt, though, the bidding for his services is sure to be brisk.
Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan): The rat-tailed striker is 35 years old, but he’s still a lively contributor who can set the tone with his pressing from the front. He’s spent the past 8 years in Italy, and despite offers that will almost certainly issue forth from China and Argentina, he may want to prove he can still perform at the highest levels after spending the year stuck behind Mauro Icardi. He’d make a nice member of a striking platoon with Khouma Babacar and/or Nikola Kalinić.
Mauricio Pinilla (Atalanta): After spending a rather fruitless spell with Genoa, the Nerazzuri are letting him walk. While the 33-year-old Chilean has a reputation for being, if we’re honest, a real asshole, he could still be situationally useful as a third striker, which Fiorentina have lacked since the sale of Mauro Zárate. He’d also be a fairly cheap (think €150,000) if Corvino thinks he’d be worth the trouble.