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There might be something to those Isco rumors, but let’s pump the brakes a tad

Signing the Spanish playmaker would make the Viola everyone’s favorite Serie A team, but his salary is a serious stumbling block.

Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club - La Liga Santander Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

There’s been a lot of transfer chatter about Fiorentina of late and it’s mostly been fun. After all, this club just signed Jonathan Ikone and complete a move for Krzysztof Piątek in the next 48 hours. Playing a fearless attacking style that’s captured imaginations from South America to Europe, the Viola are becoming a destination for talented young players. Getting linked to Isco, though, is a whole different sort of rumor, and while it’s fun, it’s a lot less likely than a lot of the other rumors floating around.

First of all, Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez is definitely available. He’s been an unused substitute more than he’s been a starter, he’s played just 195 minutes, and his contract runs out this year with no signs of an extension; Carlo Ancelotti has made it about as clear as he possibly can that the 29-year-old isn’t in his plans and teams around Europe have taken notice, with Inter Milan amongst those keeping tabs on him.

Even so, there’s some belief that a move to Florence would make sense for everyone. Fiorentina and Real Madrid remain in touch over Álvaro Odriozola, so there’s clearly some rapport about loaning players from Madrid to Tuscany. Pradè has always loved a Spanish midfielder, too; Borja Valero, Mario Suárez, Joan Verdú, Cristian Tello, and José Callejón were all Pradè signings. We’ve also heard that Vincenzo Italiano wants to play a 4-2-3-1, and Isco is a world-class number 10. It all lines up perfectly.

At least until it doesn’t, and it doesn’t because of the money. The first stumbling block is the salary: the former Golden Boy (and is there a weirder-named award around?) earns €7 million a year right now. Even if he halved that salary, he’d be Fiorentina’s highest earner, and since he’s just 29 and likely in his prime, he might not want to leave money on the table. No less an authority than Rocío Rodríguez says that the financial terms could be prohibitive, although she acknowledges that the Viola have been in touch with his representatives.

While there are a few quibbles about Isco’s fit—he can really only play as a 10, he’s had some fitness issues which could make him a burden in the hard-running Viola system, he’s fallen off over the past 3 years—you really can’t pretend that he wouldn’t immediately be one of Fiorentina’s best players, the type who can consistently unlock the deep defenses that Italiano’s boys routinely face. He’d be outrageously fun, and that fits the established theme.

Maybe there’s some way to get Madrid to agree to a loan in which they pay part of his salary while getting him on a pre-contract agreement for next year. Maybe this is just so much hot air that his family (who represent him) are blowing to drive up competition. Maybe it’s both, or neither, or some mixture. Either way, let’s slow down the hype train a bit. A January move is possible but probably unlikely. Maybe in the summer, if Rocco feels like ponying up an absurd amount of cash.