ACF Fiorentina: Latest Viola Transfer News

Jason VossFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2013

ACF Fiorentina: Latest Viola Transfer News

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    Fiorentina has become quite an attractive destination of late.

    The Viola play some very aesthetically pleasing football under coach Vincenzo Montella and, after missing out on the Champions League by just two points, the Florentian outfit are looking to strengthen their side ahead of next season.

    They do seem resigned to losing star forward Stevan Jovetic, who led the team in scoring last term with 13 goals.

    According to Miles Chambers of Goal.com, the club will accept no less than €30 million for the Montenegrin international, and though they will be losing arguably their best player, that influx of cash could go a long way toward improving the squad.

    Let's take a look at the players that have already been brought in and some of the players who could find themselves donning the famous purple kit next season.

Juan Cuadrado, 25

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    After a fantastic season on loan from Udinese, Fiorentina opted to purchase the Colombian international on a permanent basis for just £4.4 million—or roughly €5.1 million.

    In a 3-5-1-1, the wing-back positions are arguably the most important on the pitch because they have extensive defensive and offensive duties. Utilized as a right wing-back by Montella, Cuadrado was a standout performer last season, scoring five goals and providing six assists in 36 league matches.

    He's an ideal wing-back, coupling tireless defensive work rate with skill and pace that allow him to bomb up and down the flanks.

    Though he did accumulate a good amount of yellow cards last season with 11, he's strong in the tackle and doesn't shirk his defensive duties like so many full-backs and wing-backs tend to do nowadays.

     

Joaquin, 31

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    The former Spanish international is a veteran winger who will provide consistent service into the box with his elite crossing ability.

    Joaquin played in 34 league matches as well as making eight Champions League appearances with Spanish outfit Malaga last season.

    In those 42 games, the Spaniard scored seven goals and provided seven assists. Under Manuel Pellegrini, Malaga played a 4-2-3-1 and Joaquin occupied the right attacking midfield spot—the position where his skill set is best utilized.

    Montella employs a 3-5-1-1 system, so the position that would best align with Joaquin's abilities would be the right wing-back position. However, the permanent signing of Cuadrado means that Montella already has his man at that spot.

    Nevertheless, signed for around €2 million, Joaquin will provide valuable depth and experience to a Fiorentina side that look to be competitive in Serie A as well as the Europa League next season.

Other Signings

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    Other than Cuadrado and Joaquin, Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade has also completed free transfers for Gustavo Munua (pictured above), Marcos Alonso and Oleksandr Yakovenko. Marko Bakic was also signed.

    The 35-year-old Munua was Levante's starting keeper last season, playing in 29 matches in La Liga. Emiliano Viviano was Fiorentina's starting keeper last term, but he was on loan from Palermo. Munua will likely be in contention for a starting spot alongside young Brazilian keeper Neto.

    A former Real Madrid youth player, Alonso is a left-back who enjoyed a solid season with Championship side Bolton last term. He scored four goals in 26 league matches and is a dangerous player in the air.

    At just 22, Fiorentina could elect to send the player out on loan as the left wing-back position is already occupied by captain Manuel Pasqual.

    Yakovenko is a Ukrainian international who was on the books at Belgian giants Anderlecht from 2008-2013. A versatile player, the 26-year-old can play as a forward or on the left side of midfield.

    Bakic is a 19-year-old midfielder who has already been capped for the senior Montenegrin national team. He is co-owned by Torino and played in one match for them last season.

Mario Gomez, 27

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    According to Sky Sports' Nadia Carminati, the Viola are interested in Bayern Munich centre-forward Mario Gomez.

    Gomez was overshadowed by the emergence of Mario Mandzukic last season, but the German international remains a prolific striker.

    Since joining the German giants from Stuttgart back in 2009, Gomez has scored 113 goals in 174 appearances in all competitions.

    Pep Guardiola will manage Bayern Munich next season and could opt to use the 4-3-3 false nine system he used with Barcelona, playing Mario Goetze in the Lionel Messi role. Such a system does not utilize a natural centre-forward, and though Mandzukic will stay at the Allianz Arena, Gomez finds himself surplus to requirements.

    Like Pippo Inzaghi, Gomez constantly toes the defensive line and has garnered criticism for constantly being caught offside. When he does beat the offside trap and finds himself in the position to score, the Bayern Munich striker is a lethal finisher. 

    Adept in the air and capable of finishing with either foot, Gomez would be a fantastic replacement for Jovetic. Valued at nearly €30 million according to Transfermarkt, a deal for Gomez would eat up nearly all the money received from a Jovetic sale.

    His Transfermarkt page also shows a long history of injuries, but when he's fit, there are few better than Gomez. He's in the prime of his career and signing him would be a huge coup for Fiorentina.

Massimo Ambrosini, 36

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    After his illustrious 18-year career with Milan came to a close earlier this summer, Sky Sports' Simone Bargellini is reporting that Ambrosini has emerged as a transfer target for Fiorentina.

    The deal has been close for a while now and it looks as though the former Italian international will be a Fiorentina player quite soon.

    A defensive midfielder, Ambrosini would operate as one of the three central midfielders in Montella's 3-5-1-1. Though he's lost more than a step at his advanced age, Ambrosini is a no-nonsense tackler who will provide solid defensive steel to a Viola midfield filled with creative players.

    David Pizarro, Alberto Aquilani and Borja Valero comprised the first-choice midfield triumvirate and the defensive-minded Ambrosini will be a good foil to the aforementioned midfielders.

    With Football Italia suggesting that Pizarro's future at the club is uncertain, Ambrosini could rotate with Matias Fernandez as the third starting midfielder. He's been on the decline for the past few years, but the former Milan captain would come on a free transfer and provide solid central midfield depth.

Dejan Stankovic, 34

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    Another vastly experienced midfielder linked to the Viola, Stankovic is reportedly interested in playing for Fiorentina. Football Italia quotes Red Star Belgrade boss Slavisa Stojanovic as saying that the Florentian club is Stankovic's "priority."

    The joint leader in caps for his national team of Serbia, Stankovic has been plying his trade in Italy since 1998, making a whopping 368 Serie A appearances.

    Not as defensively astute as Ambrosini, Stankovic is a regista—or deep-lying playmaker. He was barely a factor last season, playing in just three matches for an Inter team that finished ninth in the table.

    It remains to be seen if Fiorentina reciprocate the interest in the Inter midfielder.

Josip Ilicic, 25

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    The Slovenian international is expected to leave Palermo after the Sicilian side was relegated last season. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Football-Italia), Fiorentina could be a potential landing spot for Ilicic.

    He enjoyed his best season last term, scoring 11 goals and notching two assists in 31 matches. A left-footed player, Ilicic has a good bit of skill and he's quite a difficult player to mark at 6'3".

    He's listed as an attacking midfielder and would occupy the position just behind the centre-forward in Montella's formation.

    Adem Ljajic was the player who filled that role last term and the 21-year-old was sensational towards the end of the season, scoring five goals and providing two assists in his last four matches.

    Because of those performances, Ljajic piqued the interest of Milan. Should the Serbian international leave the Florence-based club, Ilicic would be an ideal replacement.

    Palermo hope to hold out for €15 million, but considering the position they find themselves in, Maurizio Zamparini may have to sell him for closer to €10 million.

    Though Ilicic is a great talent, the presence of Ljajic and Giuseppe Rossi mean that the Viola don't really need the towering Slovenian. Rossi made an appearance towards the end of last season, alluding to him reaching full fitness, and will be chomping at the bit to remind world football just how good he was before suffering some devastating knee injuries.

Bafetimbi Gomis, 27

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    Lyon centre-forward Bafetimbi Gomis is expected to leave the club this summer and, according to Le Progres (h/t Football Italia), Fiorentina is a potential destination for the French international.

    Capped 10 times by France, Gomis is a powerful centre-forward who first made his name with French side Saint-Etienne. In 2009, Gomis was signed by Lyon and has gone on to score 50 goals in 142 Ligue 1 matches for Les Gones.

    Last season, he netted 16 goals and provided four assists in 37 league matches. He also added another two goals and one assist in five Europa League appearances.

    Lyon are in a rebuilding period right now and have already sold centre-back Dejan Lovren. Coach Remi Garde will want to give youngster Alexandre Lacazette an extended role in the first team, and with Lisandro Lopez also on the books, Gomis is the odd man out.

    According to TransferMarkt, he has just one year left on his contract and should be available at a considerable discount.