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Wednesday July 31 2013
Fiorentina must retain Ljajic

Adem Ljajic’s contract renewal has not progressed as smoothly as hoped. Luca Cetta says it is critical Fiorentina keep hold of the young attacker.

It has been a summer for celebration in Florence. Yes, Fiorentina lost Stevan Jovetic, but think of the new arrivals. Mario Gomez – welcomed by more than 20,000 fans at the Stadio Artemio Franchi – is a lethal finisher. Josip Ilicic and Joaquin add to a highly talented attacking support cast, while Massimo Ambrosini provides experience and midfield bite. Yet amid the euphoria is the drawn-out Adem Ljajic contract situation, which would be unsettling for the Viola faithful.

While Gomez and Giuseppe Rossi were scoring their first goals for the club in a friendly last Saturday, Ljajic wasn’t picked by Vincenzo Montella. “We all know Ljajic’s quality and he still needs to grow,” commented the tactician. “There are some market situations in play and over the last few days I saw some conflict within him. He’ll play as long as I can see that he is relaxed and gives me guarantees on his concentration, especially considering his age.”

The 21-year-old has just one year left to run on his current contract. Earlier this month Viola director of sport Daniele Pradè insisted the player wanted to extend, but there’s no ink yet on the dotted line. President Mario Cognini is set to meet with the player’s representative Fali Ramadani, but there are sticking points.

Ljajic is believed to want a pay increase from €750,000 a season to €2m, according to Mediaset. In return Fiorentina are prepared to offer a basic salary of €1m, plus bonuses. The parties must also come to an agreement over the recession fee clause. Ramadani is pushing for €10m, the club are aiming as high as €16m.

Pradè indicated on Monday the onus is on Ljajic. “We are working on Ljajic’s renewal. The main thing is that he wants to remain at Fiorentina and he has to prove it, otherwise the doors are open for everyone. We are a strong team and a strong club, so this forces the player to let us know what he wants to do.”

Adding to the drama is the lurking shadow of Milan and master negotiator Adriano Galliani. Their interest in the Serbia international has been noted and with a deal expiring in June 2014, the Rossoneri could pounce. Galliani has said Ljajic’s characteristics suit Milan. For the Viola this interest is as welcome as a 5am phone call.

Given how Ljajic performed last season, Fiorentina would be well advised to keep hold. From the player in 2011-12 attacked on the bench by boss Delio Rossi, and one who had issues with Serbia boss Sinisa Mihajlovic, Ljajic has grown over the past season.

In two and a half Fiorentina years before Montella’s arrival, Ljajic did not truly deliver on his potential. He scored just four goals. Under the former Italian international Ljajic has started to display this burgeoning promise regularly. He netted 11 goals in 28 matches last term and finished with eight assists. Ljajic exploded in the second half of the season as Jovetic’s goals arrived infrequently, netting 10 times from February.

As a strengthened Fiorentina push for the Champions League, Ljajic will remain central to their plans. He fits either of Montella’s favoured formations and can take the mantle of attacking leader as Gomez settles and Rossi regains match fitness.

Ljajic has started to hit his straps and has the environment, teacher and teammates to progress even further. This is another reason to ensure negotiations are wrapped up quickly, as it can weigh on a player’s mind, as Montella already pointed out. That can hurt not only the player, but the team. Should negotiations conclude smoothly, expect Ljajic to continue on the path set out during the second half of last season.

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Have your say...
Milan is as always so cheap, want to sign him when he's out of contract.. Bunch of losers. But wake up, he's is going to sign a new contract ore he is going abroad, Atletico Madrid for instance. 
on the 17th August, 2013 at 12:46pm
You know that Viola don't want to sell Ljajic to Milan. For two reasons, because it is a rival and because Milan don't want to pay enough for a good player like Ljajic, because Milan is as always, very screwy. Doesn't matter, we are going to end above nilan so shut up. And when the refferees stop helping nilan, i think they are going to get relegated. Pathetic club.. First learn how to spell Fiorentina. Or are you still mad for the 1-3 humiliation? Loser
on the 17th August, 2013 at 12:43pm
If florentina didn't allow him to go we ll" wait for him to sign next year d same with montalivo
FORZA MILANO
on the 6th August, 2013 at 10:19pm
@viola, dumping him abroad? are you sure? with only 1 year left in his contract, he just need to resist during the transfer windows for any possible transfer other than to Milan. This doesn't mean I say Fiorentina and Ijajic will act that way, hurting each other, but that could be 1 worst scenario.
on the 6th August, 2013 at 12:15pm
I'd really prefer if Ljajic didn't go to Milan. He has only had one good season and he has real problems with attitude. Plus, Milan already has El Shaarawy, who plays in a position similar to Ljajic.
on the 2nd August, 2013 at 2:11pm
@viola

Don't be so sure we been able to snap up talent before.

@anonymous

Montilivo was good to get rid of at fioretina because he was inconsistent? That might be the case but he sure wo t inconsistent in Milan
on the 31st July, 2013 at 7:53pm
He's a typical 21st century footballer. Yes, plenty of talent, but done practically nothing in the game to be demanding bigger contracts.

What ever happened to proving your worth, building up a solid reputation etc?
on the 31st July, 2013 at 5:16pm
The way ljajic prove he wants to stay is to fire ramadani as his agent.
Think pradé will accept what ever ljajic wants to have as long they don't have to negotiate with ramadani.
on the 31st July, 2013 at 5:11pm
abp@ Or did it? ramadani is worse even then raiola. I can promise you that you will not see any montolivio situation. If ljajic don't extend his contract or get sold this summer he will be in the stands don't playing a minute this season.
on the 31st July, 2013 at 5:02pm
I think it's for the best that Montolivo and Jovetic left. Montolivo is inconsistent and Jovetic could be one of those players unfortunate with injury issues. Ljajic on the other hand, has tremendous upside to him and effort should be made to keep him but I do wonder if he is given too much at such a young age whether he'll lose motivation.
on the 31st July, 2013 at 3:29pm
The reason to keep him is to sell him for more next season, when he's not on an expiring. But if I'm him then I want to leave. The purchase of Illic was truly stupid. The team has too many players in those positions. They also have Fernandez, who is more talented than Illic and is only a year older. Give him a chance or ship him out. I expect a 3-5-2, with Cuadrado on the right and Pasqual on the left, usually Rossi with Gomez up top. Stop buying AM's and go after a DM like Parker, who is vital.
on the 31st July, 2013 at 3:08pm
Don't kid yourselves Milan fans - it's Viola or we're dumping him abroad.
on the 31st July, 2013 at 3:01pm
Looks like AC Milan is eyeing a move a-la Montolivo
on the 31st July, 2013 at 2:27pm
Having Adem Ljajic in the Milan team is going to make my year, he'd be Kaka reborn, even wonder why he always has the #22
on the 31st July, 2013 at 12:19pm
I would love seeing him Ac Milan. Him and balo and ses. Sounds promising
on the 31st July, 2013 at 11:30am
ljajic has the same agent as jovetic.. so the way fiorentina handled the whole joveticsaga didn't exactly do them any favors with the contract situation with ljajic.. not that I'm complaining.. marotta must have one eye on the whole event, he knows how to look for and pounce on great bargain deals.. :D
on the 31st July, 2013 at 11:09am

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