“Nothing has changed over the last week and there is nothing new to report. We’re waiting for Fiorentina to make themselves heard, but I repeat there is no news and no meetings scheduled.” Firenzeviola.it.
This sombre but yet potent statement was much more than a stark warning from Riccardo Montolivo’s agent Giovanni Branchini. These words will no doubt resonate in the ears of all those who follow La Viola should their Captain be lost this summer. The statement gave news that the enemy were at the gates, but that the powers that be had not taken notice and by the sounds of it will not take notice. In a Tuscan spring the cold and icy chill of these words could signal the beginning of a stormy summer in Firenze.
At this present moment in time, Fiorentina as a club either has no direction or is keeping it such a close secret that neither the players, the Coach nor the fans are any the wiser. This was no more evident than when Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this month and said: “I don’t know if we’ll have to work harder in defence, midfield or attack. A lot will depend on which players stay and on which players will be leaving us at the end of the season.”
The Italian Press has been awash with rumours that Patron Andrea Della Valle is planning a huge overhaul of the team. La Gazzetta dello Sport has suggested that this will see Mihajlovic replaced with a new Coach whilst Adrian Mutu, Sebastian Frey, Juan Manuel Vargas, Alberto Gilardino and Riccardo Montolivo will all be sold and a complete rebuild of the squad will take place.
Throughout all the rumour and conjecture that has been banded around, the one player that L’Viola faithful would hate to see leave is Captain Riccardo Montolivo. He is slowly becoming Fiorentina itself and his superb technical ability, range of passing and work rate far out weigh his paltry two goals and three assists this year.
In recent weeks however, loyal fans of Fiorentina may have relaxed somewhat. They had not been given even a slight inclination about the clubs plans for next term but they had heard this: “We are seeing Montolivo at the end of this month, We are very attached to our captain and we’d like to reach an agreement which pleases him and us. His contract renewal will not be a problem.” Speaking to calciomercato.com on the 4th April Andrea Della Valle had assured the Florentines that this matter would be resolved.
When Giovanni Branchini issued his statement that up to the 4th of May no meeting had took place, no talks had been held and nothing was planned, it is understandable that Fiorentina’s fans may feel scared and confused. Why has Della Valle not offered him a contract? Why are there no talks planed? And why are plans about how the club will rectify its poor showing this term not being made public?
One thing is for sure, Fiorentina are at a fork in the road and the path that they choose could be the difference between Champions League Football or mid-table mediocrity. Montolivo is also at this junction in the road and he to is asking for directions. The question is, will they go forward together?