There’s been a flurry of transfers at Fiorentina over the past week or so, and that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon. While we’ve heard all manner of rumors, one that’s picked up a lot of steam in the press is Inter Milan preparing a cash-plus-player swap for the Viola and Italy leftback; the report seems to have originated at the Corriere dello Sport a couple of weeks ago (as reported by TuttoMercatoWeb) and gathered momentum through reporting at various Inter sites.
On the one hand, Biraghi seems a good fit for new Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2, which is predicated on thunderous running as much as anything. We know that Biraghi can get up and down the line all day and is a serious crossing threat, particularly if someone like Romelu Lukaku or Arkadiusz Milik is waiting in the middle. Too, Biraghi is a former Inter player, having grown up in the academy. He bounced all over Italy on loan and on buyback deals before Pescara finally paid €5 million for him in 2016, and it only took him a year to convince the Viola brass to turn over €2.5 million for him (still trying to figure that one out). Getting him back at the San Siro would give il Biscione another academy product on the roster, which is of paramount importance for Serie A’s regulations.
On the other hand, though, the sources seem a bit iffy; CdS gets things right sometimes and the Inter sites have contacts at the clubs, but nobody beyond reproach (e.g. Gianluca di Marzio) has said a word about it, which may raise an eyebrow. Too, there’s the fact that Fiorentina just offloaded David Hancko, an extraordinarily promising young talent and Biraghi’s backup last year, leaving just 19-year-old Aleksa Terzić and 20-year-old Luca Ranieri there; while both are good young players, neither has ever spent a season as a starter in the top flight.
The rumor mill seems to generally agree that a sum of around €12 million plus either Borja Valero or Matteo Politano would be enough to do the trick, although Football Italia believes that the Viola will hold out for €20 million. While Valero, as we’ve discussed, would be a welcome return, the arrivals of Badelj and Boateng may prevent him from having the sort of impact you’d like; Politano, while talented, plays on Federico Chiesa’s favored right wing pretty much exclusively.
The again, Daniele Pradè recently claimed that only three players from last year’s Viola catastrophe will feature regularly this year. Chiesa and Germán Pezzella seem like no-brainers, but the third could be any of Biraghi, Nikola Milenković, or Marco Benassi. That could indicate that the brass have already committed themselves to losing Biraghi and either finding yet another leftback or rolling with Terzić and Ranieri.
We certainly aren’t ruling out the possibility that Inter move for Biraghi, especially with the number of details that have leaked out about a potential deal. But Rocco Commisso seems committed to adding quality to the team, and it’s hard to imagine an upgrade from Biraghi, who was, after Chiesa and Luis Muriel, Fiorentina’s best attacker last year. This situation is worth monitoring, certainly, but there’s no shortage of wrinkles in it right now.