Fiorentina owner Rocco B. Commisso said the club have not been worse off following the departure of Dusan Vlahovic to Juventus in January, while the Serbia forward rejected a move to Real Madrid.

The  22-year-old finished the campaign as La Viola’s top goal scorer in all competitions with 20 despite leaving midway through the campaign though Fiorentina qualified for Europe for the first time since 2016 and finished the campaign off by beating Vlahovic’s new side.

Speaking at a press conference, Commisso said of the transfer: “The stats speak for themselves: with Vlahovic during the first half of the season we were seventh anyway.

“Vlahovic at Juventus scored seven-eight goals in Serie A and Coppa Italia – the same as [his replacements Arthur] Cabral and [Krzysztof] Piatek. We didn’t lose much with his departure.”

Commisso also hit out at Vlahovic and his agents for making unreasonable demands which were regularly changed throughout negotiations and even suggested they could have “ruined” the club.

He added: “When I came back to Florence for the Vlahovic deal in December, he and his agents weren’t honest and did not behave well.

“We met at my hotel and after three hours, every half an hour he would go outside because he had to go to the bathroom and where there were two friends.

“The next day they told me they were happy to make a deal at €8 million net, which had gone from four to eight in 24 hours. Afterwards, they said they want €6m plus a percentage of the fee – on top of a percentage from whoever would sign Vlahovic.

“From there, the negotiation ended and I told the directors I would not accept this situation. I told them to find another attacker and they bought Piatek and then Cabral. In the meantime, the lad who could have ruined us, who told us he would sign, then blocked the signing of a centre-forward in August.

“I don’t know how many months they had been speaking to Juventus for but a week later Juventus, after he didn’t want Arsenal, Real [Madrid] and Atletico, came forward and we struck a deal.

“That’s how it was: but if they had come directly to us, they would have done better for Juventus. I did not make the same errors Milan or Napoli have made. I got the money and used it to sort out our financial fair play obligations.”

Commisso also praised the work done by manager Vincenzo Italiano in taking the club into the Europa Conference League, having been battling relegation over the past few seasons. 

The American also said he was at fault for their issues last season for sacking Beppe Iachini just seven matches into the new campaign. 

Commisso pointed Fiorentina’s improvement, having seen a 22-point increase since the last campaign which “no team in Italy has done.” 

Last season, Fiorentina ended the season in 13th place with 40 points but in 2021-22 finish the campaign in seventh on 62. 

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