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OFFICIAL: Badelj leaving on a Bosman

The Croatian international has finally ended the years-long game of will-he, won’t-he and will play elsewhere next season.

ACF Fiorentina v Benevento Calcio - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Pantaleo Corvino confirmed in a recent interview that Milan Badelj is finally, definitively leaving Fiorentina on a free transfer this summer, ensuring that the Viola will have to choose a new captain for the 4th year running. Despite some desperate last-minute work from club management, the Croatian international opted to let his contract run out and is now linked to a number of big sides.

Word is that AC Milan have already agreed to terms with the regista, who will spend his summer solidifying the Croatia midfield at the World Cup. Of course, with the Rossoneri facing disciplinary action and a possible transfer ban, any deal he signs with them could be voided. Juventus, Lazio, West Ham, and Aston Villa have all been linked with him as well. If he wants Champions League football, albeit probably from the bench, the former two are his best bet; if playing time matters to him, the latter two have a chance. Either way, he’ll score a substantial pay raise.

His loss leaves a decent hole in the Viola midfield, but the emergence of Bryan Dabo and the return of Carlos Sánchez could see Corvino opt to spend his war chest on someone other than a regista. While it’s a bit of a shame that the club won’t get to cash out on a player it bought for just €4 million in 2014 (he’s probably worth about 3 times that on the open market), it’s also a bit of a relief to finally know what’s going on with him.