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Reports: Marcello Lippi to Fiorentina as Technical Director

He certainly brings pedigree, but it would be a new role for the ex-Azzurri boss

Italy’s coach Marcello Lippi (L) follows
Lippi with Alberto Gilardino during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

Over the past few weeks, rumors have continued to swirl over who Fiorentina’s next manager may be. The most recent name is Gennaro Gattuso, but he’s far from the only one. Roberto De Zerbi, Vincenzo Italiano, and Ivan Juric and Maurizio Sarri are four other names which have been heavily linked, and that’s not including others such as Luciano Spalletti and Daniele De Rossi who have lurked in the background.

Almost every day, there seems to be new “breaking” news with a piece of information about who the next mister may be. Yet, all this chatter seems to be missing a key piece of information: who will Fiorentina’s next Director of Sport be?

While the Director of Sport does not necessarily choose who the manager may be, it’s pretty damn difficult to have a well-functioning club without both having a similar vision for what the squad should look like.

That’s why the fact that there was little gossip about who Fiorentina’s next DS may be is a little weird. That is, until late last week, when reports from Corriere Fiorentino sprang that former Italy manager and World Cup winner Marcello Lippi may be coming to Fiorentina in a front-office role.

Lippi, 73, announced his retirement from coaching last October. He last managed the Chinese national team in two spells, one from 2016-2019, and another six-month stint in 2019. However, Lippi is most famous for work with both Juventus and the Italian national team, the crowning achievement of his career being winning the World Cup with the Azzurri in 2006.

While Lippi possesses more experience on the bench than almost anyone else in the world of calcio, a role in the front office would be new for him. It’s hard to expect what types of players he would sign, what manager he would prefer, or whether he would work alongside another front-office person in his new role. For that reason, it’s hard for me to get too excited about this hire, although his son Davide, an agent who helped bring Franck Ribery to Firenze, could certainly help bring players to the club. In addition, someone like Lippi should have connections in just about every corner of the country, which paired with his excellent reputation could be a good formula to get the Viola back on track.

It’s far from a given that Daniele Pradè will not be with Fiorentina next season, so a Lippi-Pradè partnership with Gattuso as manager seems to be the likeliest outcome at this stage. Of course, now that Rocco is in Florence anything could change at the drop of a hat, so we won’t know for sure until June what the future front office of Fiorentina looks like.