We’ve been hearing for weeks that Fiorentina is on the cusp of signing Chelsea midfielder Mario Pašalić. The media has pretty much presented the deal as finished, requiring just a few finishing touches before the Croatian is announced in a purple shirt. This being the Viola, of course, things are never that simple, and two other clubs have also reportedly contacted Chelsea for the player.
The first of these two is Atalanta, which is a powerful reminder of how la Dea has risen over the past couple of years; the idea of the Bergamo outfit thinking it could hijack a deal that Fiorentina had nearly completed would have been laughable just two years ago. However, a pair of excellent seasons resulting in Europe League qualification have seen their profile rise, and central midfield is probably the weakest area on the squad right now. Pašalić is just the sort of rugged playmaker they could use, and they clearly don’t mind stepping on some Viola toes to get him. For the record, this is the second midfielder Atalanta have tried to swoop in on at the last minute this mercato—Czechia international Tomáš Souček is the first.
Turkish giants Fenerbahce are probably a greater threat to Corvino’s aspirations to the young midfielder, given the massive amount of money they have at their disposal. Following a failed attempt to buy Jack Wilshere (!) from Arsenal, they’ve turned their eyes instead to Pašalić. Although it sounds like the Sarı Kanaryalar are a bit late to the table, a big offer could persuade Chelsea to sell to Istanbul rather than Florence.
It’s tense times for Viola fans, as the prospect of a retooled midfield next year featuring Pašalić, Rodrigo Battaglia, and Jordan Veretout is plenty exciting. All we can do at this point is cross our fingers and hope that Corvino can work his magic, although it almost wouldn’t shock us to find that the whole Pašalić rumor has been an elaborate smokescreen as he pursues some Serbian 17-year-old.