Because there isn’t any calcio to write about (thanks, coronavirus), the rumor mill has started up again with claims that Federico Chiesa is set to leave for Juventus or Inter Milan. La Stampa—basically a Juve company newsletter—went so far as to claim that the Bianconeri have already reached an agreement with the player a couple days ago. Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso, however, has returned fire to the utter delight of the Viola faithful, denying the story and adding that he’ll never sell a player to J******s.
In a conversation with the Corriere Fiorentino, the Mediacom magnate explained in typically frank terms that Chiesa and Gaetano Castrovilli weren’t leaving. When pressed about the former specifically, he allowed that there were two conditions that could trigger a sale: Fede would have to tell him personally, and the offer would have to meet the club’s valuation. So far, so good.
What’s leaked out, though, is what Rocco added off the record. Still justifiably furious about the refereeing that handed Newcastle Junior a win in February and Pavel Nedved’s subsequent comments, he told journalists that he was never going to sell Chiesa or any player to Inter under any circumstances. It’s taken a few days for that to filter through the unofficial channels, but it is absolute nectar for Viola fans.
Given the history of sales to Juve (remember when Roberto Baggio’s move literally touched off a riot?) ,Rocco has once again endeared himself to the fans. While Chiesa’s departure is far from a fait accompli—the recent investment in the squad reflects a lot of ambition and seems to be made with an eye to making Fede’s life easier—it’s nice to know that, if he does leave, it won’t be to Fiorentina’s most despised opponent.
There’s always a chance that this is just sound and fury from Commisso, but we really don’t think so. Since buying the team in June, he’s been almost hilariously open with the press and has backed every statement that he could have bailed on. From getting a new stadium (a process that’s ground to a halt given the circumstances, but we’re not pinging him for that) to promising big purchases in January to guaranteeing continued support of Fiorentina Women’s, he’s stood behind his every pronouncement and we can’t imagine that changing here.
So. What we learned today is that Castrovilli isn’t going anywhere, and that if Chiesa leaves, it will probably be to Inter. Given Antonio Conte’s predilection for a 3-5-2 that doesn’t really fit Fede’s skillset, he may be willing to wait until Napoli or Borussia Dortmund or Manchester United arrive with a mega-offer. If nothing else, there’s something delightfully old-fashioned about an owner who’ll put emotion over business sense in this instance. For what seems like the umpteenth time, let’s just enjoy Rocco being Rocco.