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Report: Fiorentina in contact for Moise Kean

Surplus to requirements with the Juvenuts, the young Italy international could solve a lot of problems in the Viola attack.

Ukraine v Italy: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024 European Qualifiers Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Vincenzo Italiano has cooked up quite a brew with a patchwork Fiorentina this year, but he’s running out of ingredients, especially with Lucas Beltrán forced off against Bologna with a head injury. Finding a new striker—one who can actually score goals—is of paramount importance to maintaining the Champions League pace the Viola have set. Finding someone who can maybe do a job on the wing as well would be quite a bonus. And that, of course, is Moise Kean’s music.

The 23-year-old hasn’t sparkled for Juventus this year and, with the emergence of Kenan Yıldız, looks surplus to Max Allegri’s requirements. He’s made just 12 appearances this year, half from the bench, and has yet to score or assist. Adding another wrinkle, he’s currently recovering from a broken tibia and hasn’t trained since early last month; at the earliest, he’ll be ready by next week, but it could take a couple weeks longer, too.

Despite these negatives, Kean may still be worth it. He’s got a rare combination of size and speed married to impressive technical ability. On his day, he’s as electrifying as any player in Italy, terrorizing defenders with his movement in behind and playing on the turn while also offering an aerial presence in the box and a good poacher’s instinct. He has all the tools to be one of the best strikers in the world.

As a former teenage prodigy, though, he’s faced withering criticism, much of it unmerited (and let’s not pretend that there isn’t a racial component here, either). He does need to become more consistent, sure, but most 23-year-olds do. Since his failed move to Everton, he hasn’t seemed comfortable at Juventus, so it makes sense that he’d be interested in trying his luck elsewhere.

While his 1-v-1 dribbling ability means he can help break down a deep block, he’s always looked better using his pace to attack space. That’s a bit of a concern in Florence, where the possession-dominant Viola have already encountered a similar problem with embattled forward M’Bala Nzola. Kean’s probably a better player overall, but the questions about stylistic fit are reasonable.

Reasonable also are questions about the financial elements of any deal, as he earns €3.5 million until 2025. That would make him Fiorentina’s 3rd-highest paid player (trailing just Nico González and Nikola Milenković), so the Juvenuts would probably have to cover some of his wage. While there’s a chance that Daniele Pradè would be fine with a dry loan, he’d probably want an option to buy the player outright over the summer, and the fee would probably sit around €25 million, considering that the Bianconeri dropped €30 mil on him this summer.

The plus side is that there’s already a line of communication open between the clubs due to Arthur Melo’s ongoing loan. Too, Kean’s represented by the same agency that handles business for Gaetano Castrovilli (given Tanino’s situation, maybe not great) and goalkeeping coach/rizzmaster Antonio Rosati (always great). While Monza’s also in the running, Fiorentina probably offers a more appealing destination: a Champions League chase, European competition, and what should be a major role.

It sounds like Kean’s ready to pack up and get somewhere he can play more this January, so he’ll probably be ready to hammer out details soon. It’s doubtful that he could make the move official before the Supercoppa in Saudi Arabia, but perhaps he’d be able to link up when the squad returns. He’s a bit of a risk but his upside is significant enough to make Pradè and company think long and hard about turning him down.