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Report: Italiano has signed

The Viola have maybe, possibly, finally got their man.

AS Roma v AC Spezia - Coppa Italia Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Big news out of Florence today, as various outlets have reported that Vincenzo Italiano’s in town to sign his Viola contract, which will be officially deposited with Serie A tomorrow. The 43-year-old Karlsruhe native will sign a 2-year contract with the option for a third; he’ll be Fiorentina’s youngest manager since Vincenzo Montella came aboard in 2012.

It’s been a difficult negotiation to secure Italiano’s services, mostly because he signed a new deal with Spezia on 2 June 2021 that included a €1 million release clause. Sporting Director Daniele Pradè took a softer approach with the Ligurians in an effort not to ruffle their feathers too much, which is understandable, as the Aquilotti will now need to find a new manager to replace the man who brought them to the top tier for the first time in club history.

Italiano, for his part, seems eager enough to join Fiorentina, having reportedly agreed to pay the release fee himself (although you have to imagine that Rocco Commisso will happily reimburse him with a bonus of some type). He’ll likely go straight into meetings with Pradè, Joe Barone, and Nicolás Burdisso to discuss the transfer market, as the Viola have already splashed on Nicolás González but are expected to remain quite active when the window officially opens next month.

Freeing up Italiano’s staff will require another investment, although Spezia seem willing to accept a player (Luca Ranieri? Riccardo Saponara?) instead of cash to release the coaches from their contracts; if nothing else, this aspect of the deal emphasizes how many moving pieces there are to this kind of negotiation.

The important thing, though, is that Fiorentina have a mister again, and one who’s considered one of Italy’s brightest young tacticians, too. It’s a huge relief for a fan base that’s been left very anxious since the farcical departure of Gennaro Gattuso a couple of weeks ago, and—assuming this deal does in fact go through in the next few days—should help provide direction and enthusiasm to a club desperately in need of both.