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Corvino sets Kalinić deadline

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If the Rossoneri want him, they'll need to make an offer within 10 days.

ACF Fiorentina v AC Milan - Serie A
On your mark, get set, ...
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Word is that Nikola Kalinić has requested a move away from Fiorentina, and that he has AC Milan in mind as his landing spot. Old news. However, the Rossoneri have been engaged with a lengthy and thus far fruitless flirtation with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, going so far as to offer the Gabonese striker €8 million a year. If the deal falls through (which seems the likeliest outcome), then Vincenzo Montella and company will turn their attentions to a certain Croatian forward.

Pantaleo Corvino is having none of that, though. With the squad somewhere between “completely rebuilding” and “absolute crisis,” he doesn’t want to replace his starting striker this late in the window and has set a deadline for both the player and Milan: get a deal done in 10 days, or Kalinić won’t be sold under any circumstances.

The Viola have all the leverage here, as Khouma Babacar, who was even more productive than the Slender Man last season on a per-minute basis, is waiting for a chance to lead the line full-time. Furthermore, with an expected mega-deal for Federico Bernardeschi incoming, Corvino knows he’s not desperate for the funds and can hold out for the €30 million he insists the striker is worth, rather than accepting the €20 million that’s been offered.

While we’ve now got a distinct timeline for this story, don’t be surprised if it gets ugly before all’s said and done. Nikola recently told reporters that he only wants to play for Montella’s men now, and his current club promptly (and correctly) fined him for giving unsanctioned interviews about Viola business. This one could end up being a game of chicken, and Corvino’s got these clucks where he wants them.