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Eyebrows were raised when AC Milan parted ways with their loyal servant of 18 years, Massimo Ambrosini.
Having won four league titles and two Champions League winners' medals in almost 500 appearances for the Rossoneri, the midfielder regularly submitted virtuoso performances.
Mentioned in the same breath as once-teammates Andrea Pirlo, Paolo Maldini and Clarence Seedorf, the tenacious and crafty lynchpin was part of a formidable set of Milan players.
With that generation having dissipated around the same time Carlo Ancelotti left the San Siro in 2009, Ambrosini and Milan did not take up the option to extend the 36-year-old's contract when it expired at the culmination of this season.
Now free to join a new club, the race has heated up in the last few days for a player who, as exemplified by the renaissance Pirlo is experiencing at Juve, brings a "winning" mentality.
The player, capped 35 times by Italy, has sparked interest from clubs in England—namely West Ham, as reported on Sky Sports—as well as New York Red Bulls.
However, the player's agent, Moreno Roggi, told Lady Radio this week (as reported by Yahoo!'s Mark Doyle) that Fiorentina are the favourites to sign the long-locked midfielder: Having been apparently impressed by the players they are targeting, Roggi said that Ambrosini was expected to complete the "home stretch" of his move to Tuscany this week.
With his guile and intelligence, La Viola's midfield will be a fearsome spectacle.
Slotting in alongside the Chilean pairing of David Pizarro and Matias Fernandez, the Italian will additionally complement his compatriot and fellow midfield enforcer, the mercurial Alberto Aquilani: With seven goals in 25 appearances last season, the former Roma and Liverpool player will undoubtedly benefit from the elder's calm head.
In addition, Ambrosini's repertoire of wide-ranging passes and his ability to pick out teammates will be a huge asset; prodigious Serbian youngster Adem Ljajic can expect to build upon his 11 goals last season when being aided by such a veritable supplier.