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Pedro narrows options down to Grêmio or Flamengo

The Brazilian striker is heading back to his home country and has two options.

ACF Fiorentina v US Lecce - Serie A
Choices to make.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

The saga of Pedro in Florence has been an extremely odd one. Brought in for €11 million from Fluminense this summer, he’s been a complete bust, making just 4 appearances for a total of 49 minutes. While he was still carrying a knee injury when he arrived—that was reportedly the only reason Real Madrid had passed on him—the medical staff declared he was fit. So why was the most expensive signing of the summer unable to get on the pitch, given the struggles Fiorentina had up top?

We may never know the answer to that question now that Pedro’s Viola career seems to be winding down. According to CalcioMercato (reported via FiorentinaNews), the 22-year-old will be joining either Grêmio or Flamengo in the coming days. It sounds like Fiorentina have reached an agreement with the former, while the player prefers a move to the latter. It shouldn’t take too much longer to sort everything out, as both clubs are supposedly offering €15 million for a permanent transfer, rather than a loan.

The entire affair is simply baffling. Why would Grêmio and Flamengo pay €4 million more than Fiorentina paid in the summer? Why are the Viola giving up after just 3 months on one of the most promising young strikers to come out of Brazil in the past couple of years? Is there some sort of conspiracy afoot?

We’ve heard theories (with absolutely no proof anywhere, so bear that in mind) that Fiorentina are serving as a middleman and nothing else. According to this train of thought, Grêmio wanted to buy Pedro directly from Fluminense, but the latter didn’t want to sell directly to one of its biggest rivals and therefore enlisted the Viola to serve as a short-term stop to allow the move to go through without agitating the fans. Hence the plusvalenza on the player who’s done nothing. It’s worth mentioning, too, that Fiorentina and Fluminense have been working closely together of late on Gilberto, who just joined the Brazilian side for a laughably low fee.

Whether there’s skulduggery at work here or not, this is one of the strangest sequences in recent Viola history, and that’s a history with no shortage of strangeness; this is a club that may have accidentally funneled money to Kim Jong Un, for crying out loud. It sucks that Pedro won’t be in Florence as he grows into the top-notch number nine that we think he’ll eventually be, but between the overall oddness of the entire thing and the arrival of Patrick Cutrone, we’ll manage.