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Oberlin is good, but probably not a realistic Fiorentina target

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The Swiss international striker wants playing time and probably wouldn’t jump ahead of Cholito.

Manchester City v FC Basel - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
Dodging transfer rumors like he’s dodging this ball.
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Fiorentina have been linked recently to Swiss striker Dimitri Oberlin of FC Basel, and we’re getting a very Rodrigo de Paul vibe from this rumor: we simply don’t believe it. While on the surface Oberlin flawlessly fits the profile of a Pantaleo Corvino special, we see too many obstacles for the deal to ever become anything more than a bunch of tweets that nobody ever revisits.

First of all, Oberlin just joined Basel on a €4.8 million deal following a loan there last year from RB Salzburg. Now, the RotBlau are no dummies; take a look at some of their past sales if you don’t believe it: they know how to wring every red cent out of a club looking for one of their players. For a kid like Dimitri, who just earned his first senior cap earlier this year, the asking price will probably be something around the €22.5 million they got for Breel Embolo from Schalke 04 a few years ago, considering how often Embolo and Dimitri are compared. That’s, um, a bit rich for Fiorentina’s blood.

And if you’re hoping that Corvino can work his magic and get them to drop the price precipitously like he did with Alban Lafont, well, go ahead and forget it. Basel have already made their mega-sale this year, shipping winger Mohamed Elyounoussi off to Southampton for €18 million, and also collected €7 million from Sevilla for veteran goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík. The Swiss outfit is solidly in the black and would thus approach any potential negotiation from a position of unassailable strength.

Finally, Oberlin probably wouldn’t be that keen on the move. He’s already turned down moves to RB Leipzig and Manchester United on the grounds that he wants first-team football and lots of it. Coming to Florence, where he’d certainly be behind Giovanni Simeone in the pecking order (and maybe Dušan Vlahović and Martin Graiciar as well) would not please him. He’s obviously a young man blessed with a clear-thinking mind, and he’d be able to see that it wouldn’t work.

Oberlin’s got plenty of talent—pace and finishing ability being the primary ones, although one wonders if he’ll remain a center forward for his entire career or eventually be shifted into a wider role to better take advantage of his speed—but that doesn’t mean Corvino would waste time trying to sign him right now. The whole thing is nothing but a good reminder that the media frequently know just as little as we do about what a club’s intentions are and has to make do with pure guesswork.