Alessandro Florenzi is AS Roma royalty. Born in the Eternal City, he grew up in the academy and worked his way up the ranks. When he made his debut with the senior side, he replaced none other than Francesco Totti. He’s been an ever-present ever since for the Giallorossi, earning the adoration of the fans for his obvious love of the badge and ability to play pretty much anywhere in the park except as a striker and a centerback. He scored an iconic goal against Barcelona in the Champions League. Heck, he’s been the team captain since Daniele de Rossi moved on.
And he’s played just 12 minutes in the past 4 matches. He’s healthy and ready to contribute, but has fallen behind Leonardo Spinazzola in the pecking order at rightback and seems to be completely outside of manager Paulo Fonseca’s plans. With Davide Zappacosta expected to return later this year, that could push Florenzi to third choice, which isn’t a place a 34-time capped 28-year-old wants to be.
Fiorentina have emerged as one of the top suitors for his signature, along with Inter Milan and Sampdoria. While a move to the Nerazzurri would certainly be the highest profile move and would probably offer him the most possible salary, competition for a spot at right wingback is fierce under Antonio Conte, with the rebirth of Antonio Candreva and the rise of Valentino Lazaro. Samp look to be even dicier than the Viola right now, so Fiorentina certainly has a chance, albeit an outside one, to snap up the player.
The other stumbling block is that Florenzi will probably cost somewhere around €20 million, which is a whole lot of money for a club of the Gigliatis’ standing to pony up for a fullback. After all, Pol Lirola just joined for a handsome sum this summer, and Lorenzo Venuti’s shown that he’s a capable backup. One of those two would have to leave unless Vincenzo Montella plans to move Florenzi into midfield. And speaking of that midfield, it seems that Daniele Pradè and Joe Barone are interested in Sandro Tonali, Sander Berge, or Valerio Verre to reinforce that area; none of those guys will come cheap, and Rocco Commisso may not be ready to shell out huge sums in the winter transfer window.
That means that any possible deal would likely be a loan until the end of the year with an option to buy. Roma will probably be fine with that arrangement but won’t accept a lowball offer, as they’ve got Florenzi under contract until 2023 (he just signed an extension last summer). While we’re big fans of Ale and think he’d be an upgrade at wingback or in the middle, his €2.8 million salary and price tag mean this one’s unlikely. More than anything, it’s a bummer when a kid who grew up at a club and showed every sign of becoming the next bandiera gets forced out. We’ll let Bren, Lord Commander over at Chiesa di Totti, have the last word on the subject, because Bren knows more about this than I do.
“He hasn’t played for five matches straight, but it’s a tricky situation given he’s a captain and Roman. It’s also only November. I’d say if the stories are still kicking around a month from now, yeah they might have some credence. But given his captaincy and his heritage, it’s sort of low hanging fruit.”
There you have it, folks. Nothing to see here. Not yet, anyways.