According to Giuseppe Iachini at his most recent press conference, he doubts that any of Alfred Duncan, Edoardo Goldaniga, or Franco Vázquez are en route to Fiorentina in these final days of the January transfer window. For those of us who were expecting another starting-quality signing or two, particularly in midfield and defense, it’s a real punch in the crotch.
When asked specifically about Sassuolo’s Alfred Duncan, Genoa’s Edoardo Goldaniga, and Sevilla’s Franco Vázquez, the Beppeball mastermind responded with the sort of frankness you’d expect: “I don’t think they’ll come. These situations come from rumors, although the mercato is strange. To date, there are no assumptions for bringing these players in.”
It’s hard not to see some of his responses as a pretty stinging indictment of the lack of signings from Daniele Pradè. For example, Iachini’s response to a question about Antonio Conte’s misery at Inter Milan’s “lacking” market this winter was a dry, “I go sit in the corner and I cry.”
He continued with the typical directness, “I’m convinced that we [managers] want to accomplish anything, we have to say that there’s a need of something. Every coach wishes he had 25 starters; I don’t let myself judge what a colleague says.” It’s hard not to read between the lines that he’s requested reinforcements as well, but gotten rather different results than Christian Eriksen, Victor Moses, and Ashley Young (okay that last one’s still a bit odd, but the point stands).
There are, of course, any number of readings of his statements. He may simply have been saying that Duncan, Goldaniga, and Vázquez were never real transfer targets; while Pradè isn’t as stealthy as Pantaleo Corvino was in the mercato, he’s more than capable of producing surprises at the end of the January window: Mohamad Salah, Fabio Quagliarella, and Riccardo Saponara are all high-profile names he’s snapped up at the tail end of the month.
It seems less likely that Iachini is lying as a screen for Pradè to finish cut-rate deals for those players, both because that wouldn’t really work as a bluff—the other side knows the negotiation is ongoing and wouldn’t feel the need to budge—and because Beppe doesn’t seem like the type to obfuscate. He did leave a little nugget at the end of his the session: “When the players arrive, we’ll be complete.” While you could take that as certainty that he’ll get some extra players, you could just as easily take it as a message to the brass that, without some additions, the squad will remain unfinished. Looking at the roster right now, it’s hard to reach any other conclusion.