We’ve been hearing all week from all the usual suspects that AC Milan regista Lucas Biglia is one of Vincenzo Montella’s top targets. The rumor, on its face, makes sense: Fiorentina really need a competent and experienced defensive midfielder, and the 33-year-old Biglia has spent the past 6 years starting at Lazio and Milan, as well as piling up 58 caps for Argentina. Since he’s out of contract in 2020, the Rossoneri may well opt to cash in on him rather than lose him for nothing.
For now, though, rumor is all this story is. CalcioMercato.com caught up with Enzo Montepaone, the player’s agent, this morning and asked him a few questions about the Viola interest, and Montepaone threw cold water all over it with answers that were about as concrete as anything you can drag from an agent during the transfer window.
Montepaone, whose only client is Biglia, explained that he’s currently in Argentina, but may well travel to Italy in the coming weeks if anything on the contract front—either an extension from Milan or a transfer offer from elsewhere—develops; it doesn’t sound like he’s expecting too much to happen right now, though, or he’d have already caught a flight across the Atlantic.
More telling were his comments when asked about the Viola’s reported courtship of Biglia. “No, no one from Fiorentina has called me. I’ve read about this interest and I can’t deny that it’s pleasing.” When asked, should Daniele Pradè and company get in touch, if he’d be work with them, he replied, “Remember that Lucas has a contract with Milan and so it wouldn’t be a simple thing, but in football you never say never.”
There are three possible readings of this interaction. The first is that we take Montepaone’s words at face value: that Fiorentina haven’t gotten in touch at all about Biglia, that the whole story is just an invention by bored reporters looking for something, anything, to report before players can actually start signing for new clubs.
The second is that Montepaone is stalling. He never said that there wasn’t contact, just that nobody had called, which would make sense given the time zone differences. The old “X has a contract with Y” is standard agent-speak for “yeah, something might be up.” Any negotiations will probably take a lot of work, given Biglia’s reported €3.5 million salary—hard to imagine putting him on Chiesa’s level in terms of wages—so in this reading, Montepaone is just covering as he and the Viola hash things out.
The third possibility is that Montepaone is using Fiorentina’s name, and the implied megabucks Rocco Commisso has brought to Tuscany, to push the Rossoneri into handing Biglia a nice extension. A 33-year-old in the last year of his contract doesn’t always have the most leverage, especially coming off a serious knee injury, so leaving lots of space for interpretation between the lines makes sense for a smart agent.
No matter which of these is true, it’s unlikely that we’ve heard the last of it; after all, if there’s nothing there, a somewhat coy denial isn’t enough to stop newspapers and websites from publishing speculation as rumor. If there is something to it, it’ll likely be awhile before we hear any more concrete evidence due to a potentially lengthy negotiation about personal terms. What we’re saying is buckle up for a summer’s worth of this one.