Coach Cesare Prandelli gave a clear indication of his desire to stay in Florence in recent days, yet the positive news did not derail the detractors from linking a host of Fiorentina stars with transfers to other clubs. Peruvian full-back Juan Manuel Vargas, who has been often used as a winger, continues to attract interest from a plethora of clubs, particularly Real Madrid and Liverpool. In the latest reports Los Galacticos were reportedly willing to offer fringe player Royston Drenthe in addition to an unspecified amount of cash to convince the Gigliati to let go of one of their key performers.
Vargas is having an impressive season and his forays on the left side of the pitch as well as his explosive shooting have added an extra dimension to Fiorentina’s attacks, presenting Prandelli with added options with which to attack opponents. If the deal were to go through Drenthe would serve as a direct replacement, considering the Dutchman can operate as a winger on the left side as well. Drenthe has found it hard to secure a starting place in Madrid, but his ability to play more than one position and his young age represent a great opportunity for Fiorentina to reinforce its squad with promising youngsters. The Gigliati has pursued an active policy in employing youthful players after signing players such as Keirrison, Adem Ljajic and Haris Seferovic whilst nurturing the likes of Stevan Jovetic and Khouma Babacar.
Another player continuously linked with a move away from Florence is Montenegrin star Jovetic who has impressed in the Champions League and done relatively well during the Serie A campaign. The Montenegro international has benefitted from the injuries and the subsequent ban of Romanian Adrian Mutu, as he found ample opportunities to cement his place in the starting lineup and prove indispensable to Prandelli. Jovetic was the star man when the Gigliati beat Liverpool in the group stage and then in the 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in the return leg in the last 16 of the Champions League. Ironically, he is being linked with a move to Spain to join Los Galacticos just like his teammate Vargas. Fortunately for la Viola the players seem happy in Florence and have stated on several occasions that they are focused on helping Fiorentina rather than worrying about any potential moves. Jovetic in particular wants to win the Coppa Italia this season and climb the standings in the league in order to qualify for European competition next season.
One other key performer whose name has been mentioned in transfer rumours is Sebastien Frey who has saved the Gigliati on several occasions during recent weeks with impressive saves and timely reflexes. Both Manchester United and Bayern Munich were reportedly monitoring his status in Florence, but it is doubtful whether the Gigliati will release the Frenchman to the Bavarians after the contentious two-legged European clash with the German side. The rumours, however, may have gained momentum with Fiorentina supposedly keeping an eye on Genoa custodian Marco Amelia. This could simply indicate that the club’s management is willing to sell the player for the right price, but Manchester United would appear a more likely destination, a club where the Frenchman would take over from aging Dutchman Edwin van der Sar.
Amid all these different scenarios regarding player transfers, the charismatic Prandelli must turn the attention of his charges to a tricky and yet potentially explosive match against Genoa at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. The Gigliati must win this match to keep hopes alive of securing a European place come the end of the season. Last weekend, Fiorentina proved that it still has the will and determination to achieve valuable results by coming from behind to beat Napoli in the wake of a disappointing exit from the Champions League on the away-goals rule.
The attacking duo of Jovetic and Alberto Gilardino has looked dangerous in the past couple of weeks, with both forwards scoring at will. Azzurri striker Gilardino is once again scoring for fun but must be more proficient and effective in front of goal if he is to propel his side into one of the European spots. Against Bayern the Italian forward missed an easy opportunity with only the Bavarian club’s goalkeeper to beat, an opportunity which eventually proved costly considering a 3-2 win was only good for proving Fiorentina belongs in the elite European competition.