With the summer transfer window usually fertile breeding ground for gossip-mongers and speculation-spreaders, it’s a refreshing change to be offered a peak behind the curtain.
And, in an interview more revealing than a Love Island swimsuit, Fiorentina director Daniel Prade took the somewhat unusual route of speaking openly and publicly about where exactly the Serie A outfit are in their pre-season preparations.
Prade clarifies that Lucas Torreira won’t be signing with Fiorentina after all. Riqui Puig, Andrea Belotti, and Dennis Praet are also off the table. However, Luka Jovic and Dodo are currently travelling to the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Pierluigi Gollini, a former bench warmer for Tottenham, is also.
But Prade’s remarks on Florian Grillitsch caught the attention of fans from Liverpool to London.
“We followed him a lot and it could have been an opportunity on a free transfer,” Prade tells TMW of the Austria international, who’s Hoffenheim contract expired last week, translated by BuliNews.
“But we didn’t like his father’s talk and demands.”
The bargain appears to be extinct, like the dodo bird. Of course, the bird wasn’t the full-back from Shakhtar Donetsk packing his things and flying to Florence.
FIORENTINA BACK AWAY FROM FLORIAN GRILLITSCH DEAL
Grillitsch won’t likely be unemployed for very long. The exquisite, 6’2″ ball carrier was reportedly a target for Arsenal in April, according to The Telegraph. Among Grillitsch’s many admirers are West Ham, Leeds United, and Everton. Meanwhile, Newcastle began negotiations with the 26-year-old former Werder Bremen powerhouse in January (Daily Mail).
“I think he’s a very good technical player. The only question marks over him would be if he could cope with the physicality of the Premier League,” says former Liverpool ace Dietmar Hamann.
“It is a different game and it’s something that he still needs to work on, but he’s a brilliant player. Technically he’s very gifted. So if he played in the right system, he could definitely help Newcastle.”
“In my opinion, Flo Grillitsch is one of the best players in the Bundesliga,” adds former Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann (Sky).
“He still has a few things to improve, he knows that. But he is an exceptional footballer and has an incredible gift for setting the tempo of the game.”
IS ‘EXCEPTIONAL’ MIDFIELDER HEADING TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE?
A midfielder with Grillitsch’s poise and skill is rarely available for nothing. His newly discovered availability—on the cheap—should pique the interest of an Arsenal team that has received high bids for players like Youri Tielemans and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Both Everton and West Ham need more quality and quantity in the centre of the field.
While Tyler Adams will join Marc Roca in Leeds’ revamped engine room, Grillitsch would be an improvement over Mateusz Klich and injury-prone Adam Forshaw.
Someone else ought to benefit from Fiorentina’s loss. But it’s anyone’s guess who that “someone else” actually is.