The writing has been on the wall for the past week or so with regards to the impending exit of Jordan Veretout, and now reports claim that his agent Mario Giuffredi is heading to Milan to meet with Napoli Aurelio de Laurentiis for the purposes of hashing out his client’s future, although the stated reason is to offer an extension to Partenopei fullback. Following the French midfielder’s recent comment to La Nazione that his “dream is to play in the Champions League.” In case you’d forgotten, the Viola sit 10th in Serie A and are, uh, not going to crack the top four any time soon.
Give Veretout full credit, though, for honesty and professionalism: he insisted that his focus is on the remainder of the season with his current side, particularly as a string of strong performances could earn him a call up to the French national team, which he represented up through the U21 level alongside the likes of Corentin Tolisso, Charles Kondogbia, and Tiémoué Bakayoko (as well as Bryan Dabo and Valentin Eysseric). He added that, as he hits his prime at age 26, he feels that he should challenge himself at the highest level of the game.
De Laurentiis is believed to be a big fan of the Frenchman, whose well-rounded game would give Carlo Ancelotti another versatile, talented option in midfield. With a contract that runs through 2021, though, Fiorentina sporting director Pantaleo Corvino is under little pressure to sell, and is thought to be demanding somewhere north of €25 million, which would represent a tidy profit for a player bought from Aston Villa for €7 million. AC Milan have also registered interest, but it sounds like the transfer carousel may spin Napoli outcast Amadou Diawara their way instead.
Losing Veretout, though, would be a massive blow to the Viola. As the only midfielder who’s demonstrated an ability to consistently move the ball forward with his passing, he’s served as the triggerman for Fiorentina’s attack over the past two years. Stefano Pioli has relied on him, first as a mezzala and then as a regista, to set the tone defensively and pull the strings so that Federico Chiesa can cook. Without him (and with Gerson and Edimilson Fernandes likely returning to their parent clubs), the midfield next season looks frightfully bare.