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Fiorentina tried to buy Belotti for so much money

€40 million is a lot for a rooster.

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SSC Napoli v FC Torino - Serie A Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images

So here’s a crazy one. According to Tuttosport, Fiorentina tried to buy Torino striker Andrea Belotti in January. For €40 million. That isn’t a typo. The deal was scuppered by Toro, who were loath to lose their captain and star in the middle of the season, but apparently there was a genuine chance that this could’ve happened.

Before I get too carried away, let’s throw out a list of caveats. Tuttosport is um how do you say not exactly a font of journalistic reliability. Even so, I’m willing to believe that someone told one of their writers this story; who did the telling is far more interesting to me. Given that Everton is also reportedly circling for il Gallo, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if the Granata brain trust let this one slip in order to drive his price even higher.

Still, though, if there’s any truth in it, it’s a genuinely crazy story. The idea of pairing Belotti with some combination of Federico Chiesa, Dušan Vlahović, Franck Ribery, and now Christian Kouamé and Patrick Cutrone is a Football Manager fever dream. More than that, though, it demonstrates that Viola owner Rocco Commisso isn’t afraid to wave some cash around. That €40 million would double the highest fee the club has ever paid for a player; Juan Cuadrado and Sofyan Amrabat each cost €20 million.

After half a decade of the Della Valle brothers’ concerns for their finances more than their fortunes on the field, Rocco’s willingness to spend is eye-opening. Per Transfermarkt, 4 of the 15 most expensive purchases the club’s ever made have come since Rocco took over this summer, and that’s not counting the deals for Kouamé and Cutrone which would also be in the top 10 if they’re redeemed.

Under the DVs, Fiorentina missed out on big targets all the time; management’s response was usually a shrug that said, “Well, we’re not that big of a club,” and a deal for a Croatian teenager nobody’d heard of instead. Daniele Pradè and Joe Barone, however, turned their attention to another talented forward in Patrick Cutrone and brought him aboard. Whether or not you’re an Andrea Belotti fan, you have to love the not just ambition that the Gigliati have shown under Commisso. But il Gallo would have been nice too.