Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano is gearing up for the season opening Coppa Italia tie with Cosenza and insists there is ‘no Dusan Vlahovic problem’ at the club, despite on-going transfer gossip.
The Viola will make their competitive debut under new coach Italiano in the Coppa Italia First Round on Friday at 20.00 UK time.
“Much like Cosenza, we too are a work in progress, especially as I am a new coach and have been working without most of the internationals throughout pre-season, as I only got them seven or eight days ago,” said Italiano in his press conference.
“Our last two friendlies could’ve gone better, tomorrow is difficult and we will try to give a strong response. I will play those who I feel are able to give us something right now, especially compared to the last two tests. My choices are very open, nothing can be taken for granted.”
That may well include the possibility of Vlahovic leaving this summer, as he is targeted by Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and Arsenal.
The proposals are a minimum of €50m, although it seems as if Fiorentina are holding out for €70m including bonuses.
“There is no Vlahovic problem here,” assured Italiano. “He’s hungry and determined in training and has really impressed me in that sense.
“Of course, the transfer market is unpredictable, but considering what I see in training, he is absolutely focused. I am convinced that he has Fiorentina in his mind, I cannot say more than that.”
The Viola do have a new striker in the form of Nicolas Gonzalez, a club record signing, but don’t expect him to start tomorrow.
“He is not at 100 per cent physically, just like all the players who came in late from international duty, but I am sure he’ll return to full fitness very quickly. He’s talented, has explosive pace and always wants the ball. Fiorentina made a great signing, he can work on the left or right.”