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Ciprian Tătăruşanu drawing interest from Nantes and Benfica

The Romania number one is almost certainly done in Florence, which is a shame.

SSC Napoli v ACF Fiorentina- TIM Cup
He really does look like a stick bug.
Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

The rebuilding project at Fiorentina is hitting overdrive as the club gets rid of nearly everyone over the age of 24. While the ugly exits of Borja Valero and Gonzalo Rodríguez have drawn the most ire, the Viola number one of the past 2 years is also on the outs, which is sort of a shame, because he’s been a good and steady presence at the back for his entire Viola tenure.

Now Claudio Ranieri, the new mister at French outfit Nantes, has requested Ciprian Tătăruşanu as his new number one. Although the Canaries’ president Waldemar Kita has stated that he won’t pay the €5 million requested by Corvino for the goalkeeper, a deal seems imminent. However, Benfica have, in the past day, expressed interest in Tata as well in their quest to replace Júlio César (yes, that one) as the starter. So much public interest could well increase the custodian’s price.

After arriving on a Bosman from Steaua București in 2014, Ciprian slotted in as the backup to Neto to open the season, but took over for the Brazilian for a couple of months in the middle of the year before the returning to the bench. After his rival’s acrimonious move to Juventus, though, Tata was left as the obvious number one. He rose to the challenge admirably, and even won the Romanian Footballer of the Year award in 2015.

The acquisitions of Marco Sportiello and Bartłomiej Drągowski, though, seemed to spell an end to his time as the Viola starter; everyone here correctly posited that our stick bug friend would leave this summer, handing the reins to someone younger. Although he kept them at bay through the second half of the year, Stefano Pioli named the former Atalanta custodian as his number one earlier this week in a move that helped clarify a murky situation between the posts.

Tata will likely finish his Viola career with 101 competitive appearances, shipping 119 goals and keeping 36 clean sheets. While never the flashiest of goalies, he was nonetheless a constant presence at the back, a strong shot stopper and excellent at commanding his area due to his comical height (he’s 6’6, or nearly 2 meters, tall). He’s been a faithful servant to the club, never complaining and quietly going about his job. While he’s not exactly a fan favorite, there’s nobody who’ll argue that he’s been steady, solid, and occasionally brilliant. While Sportiello may become a star, Ciprian Tătăruşanu has already proven that he’s as capable as they come.