As the end of the season draws near, it brings with it a choice for Riccardo Montolivo. While Fiorentina have endured a disappointing campaign, the midfielder has maintained his high standard of performance throughout and in doing so, has caught the eye of a number of top clubs. His displays have even earned him a prominent place in the thinking of Cesare Prandelli as he builds his Italy team.
The choice presented to Montolivo is not a simple one though. He could opt to stay with the Viola who, despite recently admitting that the player is likely to be on his way out of the club in the summer, have made it clear that they want him to stay. Director of sport Pantaleo Corvino revealed: “We want him to stay even though there is little possibility of that happening. We did all we could to convince Riccardo and he knows this.”
Leaving Fiorentina is not a decision that Montolivo would take lightly. Since joining from Atalanta in 2005 he has been nurtured by the club and helped to develop at his own pace. The environment provided by the Viola has allowed him to become on of the best central midfield playmakers in Serie A as well as club captain and something of a hero with the fans. With the club looking likely to strengthen their squad in the summer and the return to first team action of Stevan Jovetic edging ever closer, Montolivo could yet be decide to remain with the Viola into next season.
However, this possibility is looking less and less likely and the vultures are beginning to circle overhead. In Italy, a move to Juventus has been suggested but seems unlikely given the Turin club’s inability to offer Montolivo Champions League football. Ahead of Juve in that department are Milan and Internazionale.
Newly-crowned champions Milan are rumoured to be lining up Montolivo as a replacement for outgoing creative pair Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf while city rivals Inter are looking to add creativity to a midfield overly reliant on Wesley Sneijder. There are also options further afield with Bayern Munich thought to be interested in acquiring his services.
It has been suggested that a move would be the right thing to do to further his opportunities with the Nazionale. Already a favourite of Cesare Prandelli following their time together at Fiorentina, Montolivo’s position would be strengthened greatly by gaining more European experience. Perhaps his prime motivation for a move, though, could be the opportunity to challenge for and win silverware on a regular basis.
With a plethora of clubs tailing him, Montolivo will be spoilt for choice should he elect to leave in the summer. Interest from Italy and abroad is bound to have turned his head as the lure of trophies and greater international recognition call him from all sides. Despite this, his departure is not yet a certain and another season at Fioretina should not be written off. Whatever he decides, the summer is bound to be an interesting on for Riccardo Montolivo.