The apparent protagonist of our story is Rocco Commisso, the prodigal son of Calabria, who has travelled north to fulfill the prophecy of restoring sporting glory to Firenze. Since his arrival, the Italian-American businessman has done everything that his faithful followers would expect from the owner of one of Italy’s most historic clubs—except for spending money. His motto of “under-promising and over-delivering” inspires hope, but these are interesting times in Florence. The brightest flower of the Gigliati, Federico Chiesa, appears to be growing more and more adamant about demanding a transfer. But that’s not all, for the only destination that young Federico desires would see his once vivid purple petals fade and wither into black and white.
As much as I’d love to write this whole article like a historical drama, this transfer saga is confusing enough already. Our new owner has assured us time and time again that Federico Chiesa will remain at Fiorentina, but the narrative around this story has constantly changed over the past few days. As far as his plans for investment are concerned, Commisso has talked the talk but he hasn’t yet walked an inch in his new purple shoes; if what he’s promised thus far is indeed an “under-promise”, then we need to see quite a lot before we can call Rocco a man of his word.
All of that said, let’s take a moment to catch up on this mess of a situation. Below is a timeline of (credible) reports that have come out thus far that are relevant to the potential transfer of Federico Chiesa:
May 29, 2019: La Repubblica reports that a meeting between Fiorentina and Inter regarding the possible transfer of Federico Chiesa has been cancelled due to soon-to-be-announced owner Rocco Commisso’s desire to keep the player
June 6, 2019: Rocco Commisso is announced as the new owner of Fiorentina
June 18, 2019: Rocco Commisso says in interview “I wouldn’t even sell Federico Chiesa for €100 million”
July 10, 2019: Vincenzo Montella stresses in interview that Federico Chiesa “will grow with Fiorentina”, echoing Rocco Commisso’s intentions to keep the player
July 23, 2019: Federico Chiesa has a private discussion with Giancarlo Antognoni and Joe Barone on the team bus during their North American tour for the International Champions Cup, presumably to speak about a potential transfer to Juventus
July 23, 2019: In an interview after the talks on the team bus, Rocco Commisso claims that Federico Chiesa “will remain at Fiorentina”, simultaneously talking about his disgust for Juventus regarding their underperformance in Europe
July 25, 2019: Daniele Pradè reiterates Commisso’s previously stated intentions regarding Chiesa, saying that “the club has been very clear on Chiesa and our desire to keep him”, among other mentions of Fiorentina’s reluctance to sell their young star
July 27, 2019: Football Italia reports that Fiorentina is offering to double Federico Chiesa’s salary (currently at €1.7 million) in order to fend off interest from Juventus
Since purchasing Fiorentina, Rocco Commisso hasn’t wavered once in his refusal to sell Federico Chiesa. However, there’s still far too much time left in the 2019 summer transfer window to know how this thing will end; all we can say for now is that it seems the two sides are at odds, and one will have to convince the other to go along with their respective intentions.
We’ll keep a close eye on this situation and keep you all updated, but for the time being—what do you think? Is this a lose-lose situation for Rocco Commisso? Will refusing to sell Chiesa against his will come back to bite us? Will we figure out human-cloning technology and make a duplicate Federico, only waiting to reveal him until after we sell the original for €500 million? Is this allowed under UEFA regulations? This could go anywhere, keep your eyes peeled.