Fiorentina fans have basically resigned themselves to losing Federico Bernardeschi. Inter Milan were the early favorites to secure his services, but now Juventus seem to be the frontrunners, although the likes of Barcelona have also vaguely inquired about him. With the young man on vacation following his starring role the U21 Euros, it seemed like this would be the week that we’d finally hear about his eventual destination.
Patanleo Corvino, though, has thrown yet another twist in the proceedings, declaring this morning that “Bernardeschi is unsellable.” This sentiment represents an abrupt departure from what looked to be the club’s mercato strategy for the summer, in which Berna’s sale would fund the purchases of numerous young, promising players.
There’s a lot more nuance in those three words, though, than their actual definitions. This could just be bluster, a way to squeeze a few million more euros out of any potential buyer. It could be an attempt to block any other Italian clubs from bringing in a Viola academy graduate. Less likely, although possible, is the possibility that the club will refuse to sell its most valuable asset. The latter scenario, of course, would require convincing Berna to sign a contract extension—which he’s reportedly refused to do—or risk losing him for nothing at this time next year.
The cynic will say that Corvino’s recent declaration is all sound and fury. Given how the club has treated its top players of late, it’s difficult to believe that the Viola leadership could convince Fede to return to a team that won’t play in Europe next season and seems to be entering a rebuilding phase. More likely, this is just a temporary measure to placate an already-enraged fan base so that when Bernardeschi departs, the club can blame a player and agent hellbent on signing for the biggest paycheck rather than managerial shortcomings.
Update 7/4/17: Now Corvino says he was misquoted. So I guess Berna is for sale. And everything sinks back into equilibrium. Woopty-freaking-doo.