Following the arrival and immediate apotheosis of Luis Muriel, it’s fair to wonder what exactly Fiorentina’s plan is for Marko Pjaca. The winger, on loan from Juventus, had already fallen behind Kevin Mirallas in the pecking order before the Colombian’s arrival, and was maybe even behind Gerson for minutes on the wing. As he tries to kickstart a career that injury and whispers of attitude problems have derailed, a move to a less-pressurized setting which would afford him more opportunities for playing time makes a certain amount of sense.
It’s no surprise, then, that Juventus and Genoa are reportedly discussing a move for the out-of-form Croatian international. Cesare Prandelli is just the type of mister to resurrect a talented but moribund attacker—Adrian Mutu, Alberto Gilardino, and Giampaolo Pazzini would agree—and the Grifoni’s current roster would pretty well guarantee Pjaca a starting berth in his preferred wide forward position every week. The winger’s representative has denied any and all mooted moves, but that seems more attributable to typical agent posturing than anything else.
The rub is that Fiorentina still have Pjaca’s rights until the end of the year, and DS Pantaleo Corvino would need to agree to release the player early. Since the Viola are unlikely to help the Juvenuts out for no reason, there are only two reasons they’d agree to do business here. First, if they’re desperate to get Pjaca’s salary off the books—after Federico Chiesa, he’s the highest earner in the squad—they might give him the boot in order to reinvest that salary elsewhere, probably in an effort to extend the key members of the team. Second, Juve and/or Genoa may be willing to pay a little bit extra to grease the wheels.
It’s a bit sad to consider that the reasons for the one-time wunderkind’s potential move are purely financial, but it’s an unfortunate result of his complete loss of form. With Mirallas aboard as the third winger and Valentin Eysseric still available to fill in as well (to say nothing of youngster Riccardo Sottil, who may leave on loan himself to Livorno this January in search of more minutes), Pjaca seems to be out of space in this Viola squad. The negotiations to move him to the Ligurian capital will be byzantine, so if this one’s going to happen, Corvino and his counterparts had better get to work quickly.