After a disappointing season which saw Fiorentina finishing 9th in Serie A, things at the Florence club may soon change, as the number of players moving elsewhere and the rumours of a takeover suggest.
During the last weeks, Adrian Mutu has signed for Cesena and Gaetano D’Agostino has returned to the Friulian side. Midfielder Mario Donadel, whose contract has expired, has already moved to Napoli and Mario Alberto Santana, also a free agent, should soon join him at the Campanian side. Moreover, Alessio Cerci, having scored six goals in the last five games of the season, has been linked with Manchester City. Most importantly, captain Riccardo Montolivo, having declared his will not to renew his contract, expiring in 2012, should soon leave Tuscany.
Even considering the ability of sporting director Pantaleo Corvino in scouting and signing new talents from all around the world, Fiorentina fans may have reason to worry over the future of the club. Brazilian right-back Romulo and Serbian center-back Matija Nastasic have just been signed, but if the aim is still a European spot the squad needs to be seriously reinforced.
Money needs to be spent but it is not clear if owner Andrea Della Valle is still happy to invest heavily in the club. Having taken Fiorentina from Serie C to European football, his enthusiasm for the club started to decline after he found it impossible to realize his project of building a new stadium. Hence the rumors, promptly denied, of a takeover, with Red Bull or Qatari Airways allegedly keen on purchasing la Viola.
Also, the fact Sinisa Mihajlovic is still Coach does not help the morale of the fans. Since the day of his appointment, the Serbian has never been loved much in Florence and a mid-table finish with several dire performances has not boosted his reputation. It could be his choice to stay, despite receiving an offer to coach Inter, will gain him some sympathy, but he will have to do better next year.
He will certainly benefit from the return of Stevan Jovetic. The Montenegrin trequartista was one of the best players during 2009/10 season and the cruciate ligament injury that kept him out for the whole last season has probably damaged Fiorentina more than expected. With Jo-Jo in the infirmary, the young Adem Ljajic could not compensate for the lack of creative players.
However, regardless of what will happen during the transfer market, Fiorentina could turn to their youngsters to halt their apparent decline. Along with Jovetic and Ljajic, Viola have one of the most promising Italian center-backs, Michele Camporese. Having made his first team debut last season against Milan, Camporese has proved good enough for the top flight and could be employed more often during the next Serie A campaign.
Mihajlovic may also draw on players from the Primavera team that has reached the semifinals of last year’s championship. Nevertheless, if Della Valle does not turn his attention to the club, Fiorentina may have to resign themselves to mid-table mediocrity.