One of the joys of supporting Fiorentina is that, even during an international break, you can hear distressing transfer rumors that rumble with incoming doom. In this case, it’s that Pietro Terracciano could be on his way out of Florence due to a disagreement with management about a contract extension, a refrain as painfully familiar as, “We played well but weren’t sharp enough in front of goal.”
Terracciano (known around these parts as the World’s Funnest Dad, or Fun Dad for short) has served as the Viola number one for the past year or so. After Bartłomiej Drągowski developed the yips, Terracciano stepped in and played pretty well, all things considered. While he’s not a perfect goalkeeper and won’t ever be mistaken for Sebstien Frey as a shot stopper, he’s more than competent at the back and, perhaps more importantly, fulfills what Vincenzo Italiano wants from the position.
With a contract that runs out at the end of the season, you’d think that Daniele Pradè and company would want to sign Terracciano to an extension. It sounds like meetings with his agent Federico Pastorello at Moena, though, went pretty poorly, with the player’s rep souring on the Viola brass when they flatly refused to increase the Fun Dad’s salary to an even €1 million a year.
That’s a decent salary for a goalkeeper, certainly, but not unrealistic for a guy who’s in his prime at 32, fits what the team wants to do tactically, and has always been a good citizen. If nothing else, it’s a reasonable jumping off point. If these talks went nowhere after Joe Barone and Pradè wouldn’t engage (and we’re likely only hearing one side of this story, so take it with plenty of salt), it’s not a good sign at all.
With heir apparent Pierluigi Gollini not looking great in the early going, retaining Terracciano, even just for another year or two while a replacement is brought in, should be a very high priority. Instead, AC Milan and Lazio sound interested in grabbing him as a free agent this summer, which would leave the Viola with Gollini (if they pay the €7.5 million fee), Michele Cerofolini, and 16-year-old youth team sensation Tommaso Martinelli; that is a worrying position indeed.
Hopefully, this is all just posturing and the sides reach an agreement to keep Terracciano around, especially since he’s proven that he’s happy to serve as a backup, thus leaving the door open for the club to acquire another player at his position. If it’s not, though, it’s another head-scratching decision from an organization that bestowed nearly €3 million a year on Aleksandr Kokorin.