Gigliati director Pantaleo Corvino’s phone must be ringing frequently as the highly regarded transfer expert has been actively pursuing some key signings for the Tuscan side. Corvino’s stature keeps growing, just like Coach Cesare Prandelli’s, with every Fiorentina victory and particularly following the highly successful Champions League campaign.
While Brazilian Felipe Melo was a success in Florence, he has been labeled as a flop in Turin and his massive transfer fee, which helped fill the club’s coffers, will earn the transfer guru further credit for his market moves. Fiorentina’s Prandelli and Corvino worked together to bring in the solid Cristiano Zanetti as a replacement and the experienced midfielder has not disappointed despite his tough luck with injuries, as he has been a steady performer when he is able to play. The shrewd duo realise they do need a long-term replacement for Melo given Zanetti’s aging body and frequent injuries. Riccardo Montolivo is a talented player, but is not the natural heir to Zanetti so they have been pursuing other options. Sporting Lisbon’s Miguel Veloso is one player who has been constantly linked with a move to Florence in recent days.
The midfielder impressed when his Portuguese side clashed with Fiorentina in the Champions League qualifying round and was actually on the score sheet in the first leg. Veloso will be an ideal addition to the squad given Fiorentina’s hectic schedule from now till the end of the season with Serie A games starting this week and the Champions League resuming next month. The major hurdle to completing the deal remains Sporting’s asking price, which is above Fiorentina’s valuation of the player. In the meantime, Udinese’s defender Felipe has arrived on loan. The Brazilian, who is only 25-years-old, will be in Florence till the end of the season and will help to shore up the defence prior to the return of the injured Alessandro Gamberini. This appears to be an intelligent course of action, as the player can fill in for injured players and if he impresses then the club can swiftly sign him at the end of the season.
The defender became the first winter signing but he is unlikely to be the last given the circumstances at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Familiar faces may potentially end up leaving Florence if persistent rumours linking Adrian Mutu with a move away from Italy materialise. The troubled Romania star, whose season has been hampered by his legal battle with Chelsea and his various injuries, was initially linked with a move to West Ham United only for the report to be denied. The latest Press reports claim Mutu is interesting Qatari side Al Sadd’s Coach Cosmin Olaroiu, who hails from Romania as well. It is unlikely Mutu will make a move to Doha unless the offer was extremely lucrative to tempt the forward to move there at this stage of his career.
Coach Prandelli’s focus will be on the squad’s condition following the winter break, which was much needed as injuries were beginning to ravage the side. Next up are bottom dwellers Siena as league play resumes with a match Fiorentina will be expected to pick all three points from. They are four points adrift from Roma in fourth but have an opportunity to claw their way back as the away clash with Siena will be followed by three winnable games at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. The home stretch could serve as the ideal foundation to recreate an impregnable fortress out of the once feared venue.
A run of four wins could propel la Viola back into the top four while building the team’s confidence to kick-start what has been a rather inconsistent league campaign which has suffered from the forays in Europe. With Prandelli at the coaching helm one would expect Fiorentina to achieve the hoped for results while director Corvino will be asked to keep a tight grip on the market. The two influential figures appear to gel well and are working hand-in-hand to create a force to be reckoned with.
Just as Prandelli was linked with Coaching Juventus during the summer, Corvino has been rumoured on more than one occasion to be joining the Bianconeri to replace the much-maligned Alessio Secco. To his credit, Corvino has remained focused on his current task, denying all reports claiming he will move to Turin. The tifosi will clearly welcome the news as the two sets of clubs have a history when it comes to transfer moves, particularly with the mayhem which broke when Roberto Baggio signed for Juventus in the early 1990s.
Fiorentina Club Focus
Viola continue to grind out results – September 15, 2009
La Viola lose Gilardino and the points – September 18, 2009
Fatigue catching up with la Viola – September 22, 2009
Della Valle Resigns as Fiorentina triumph over Sampdoria – September 25, 2009
La Viola finally win away as De Silvestri makes debut – September 29, 2009
The beginning of the Jovetic era in Florence? – October 2, 2009
Two points lost and a wasted opportunity – October 6, 2009
Good news all round – October 9, 2009
International Week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)
Transfer rumours abound as Gilardino fires la Nazionale to South Africa – October 13, 2009
Gilardino shines again as la Viola eye the Bianconeri’s scalp – October 16, 2009
La Viola holds firm against Juventus – October 20, 2009
Crucial win over Debrecen, Manchester United prepare bid for Jovetić? – October 23, 2009
La Viola going through a rough patch – October 30, 2009
Marchionni brace completes Fiorentina rebound – November 3, 2009
Prandelli and co. march on against Debrecen – November 6, 2009
La Viola edge Udinese as Marchionni and Montolivo earn Azzurri recall – November 10, 2009
Vargas to stay as Prandelli praises Jovetic – November 20, 2009
Injuries taking their toll as Lyon clash looms – November 24, 2009
la Viola through to the round of 16 in Europe – November 28, 2009
La Viola’s resistance broken from the penalty spot – December 1, 2009
Must-win game to remain close to Champions League spots – December 4, 2009
Race for fourth continues as Fiorentina travel to Anfield – December 8, 2009
Historic win as Tifosi give warm reception – December 11, 2009
Precious points dropped as fatigue and injuries mount – December 15, 2009
Viola prepare for Milan’s arrival and Mutu’s departure – December 18, 2009
Snow postpones Milan clash – December 22, 2009
Calm holiday period despite transfer reports – December 29, 2009
Reinforcements wanted – January 5, 2010