Now that Luis Muriel has done away with the idea that big-time January transfers never pay dividends, Pantaleo Corvino is looking to bring another well-known name to Florence before the end of the month. According to Tuttomercatoweb, the Viola DS is working on a deal with his Inter Milan counterpart that would see the midfielder join the Gigliati on loan with an option to buy him for €15 million, which would be quite a steal considering that the Milanese giants snapped him up from Atalanta for €22 million just last year.
The 24-year-old looks like he’d be an excellent fit in the Viola midfield. A dynamic runner whose specialty is regaining possession high up the pitch, he fits the Viola system to a tee; in fact, he enjoyed perhaps his best season as a professional under Stefano Pioli at Inter, averaging 3.7 tackles and 2.7 interceptions per game and earning widespread acclaim. Under Luciano Spalletti, though, his influence has waned as the likes of Radja Nainggolan, Marcelo Brozović, Borja Valero, and Matías Vecino have leapfrogged him.
While he’s not the most athletic or creative player, his abilities as a ball-winner are beyond reproach. Although you could argue that he brings similar characteristics as Jordan Veretout, Gerson, Marco Benassi, Bryan Dabo, and Edimilson Fernandes, he’s probably a better player right now than any but Veretout. The Viola forwards would love him, as he’d certainly create opportunities by regaining possession and starting quick counters, but he’s not exactly a holding midfielder or the type to pull the strings in the middle of the park.
While current reports indicate that Fiorentina is closest to gaining his services, we’ve also heard that the likes of Torino, West Ham, and Everton have registered interest as well. With so many stylistically identical players in the fold, this could also mean that one of Fiorentina’s current midfielders is on the outs—Benassi and Dabo are the likeliest candidates—as paying 6 hefty salaries for 3 spots is well beyond the Della Valles’ means at the moment. While the fans may have wanted to hear that a different Inter midfielder was nearing a Viola arrival, there’s no arguing that Gagliardini is a solid player with a good future ahead of him.