A Fiorentina director has confirmed Mario Suarez wants to leave Stadio Artemio Franchi this month but reiterated that his exit is complex and by no means guaranteed.
Suarez was an unused substitute last night for the third time in three matches as Fiorentina went down 3-1 at home to Lazio. The midfield anchor has not started a game since November, and even then he was withdrawn at half time, and has not played 90 minutes in more than two months.
According to Daniele Prade, Suarez, 27, still has international ambitions, even though he hasn’t played for Spain since the World Cup qualifier against Finland in September 2013.
“Mario Suarez wants more space so he can go to Euro 2016,” said Prade last night. “We’ll see what happens. It also depends on how bad Milan Badelj’s injury is.”
Badelj, the Croation, is Fiorentina’s first-choice midfield pivot and he came off after 59 minutes against Lazio. Fiorentina are sitting in second spot and chasing their first league title since 1969. Only six points separate the top five in Serie A so a sought-after place in the Champions League, by finishing in the top three, will require all hands on deck in the second half of the season. Paulo Sousa the Fiorentina manager, will not want to leave himself short by selling a player they only signed in the summer from Atletico Madrid.
Watford are ostensibly looking at signing players on a permanent basis this month and it would take a club record fee to prize Suarez, who cost Fiorentina £10.5m in the summer and is contracted until 2019, out of Italy.
Complicating matters further is the fact Suarez’s partner, Melana Costa Sjogren, is pregnant with their first child. Watford’s summer club-record move for Abdoulaye Doucouré fell through because the player did not want to uproot his pregnant girlfriend from France.
The power brokers at Vicarage Road are extremely relaxed about their position in this window and, such is their league position, are reluctant to complete any short-term deal or be pressurised into doing business by market forces or the fanfare surrounding the window. They will only bring someone in if they represent an upgrade on what they already have, if the player is committed beyond this season and if the target is acutely aware they will not walk straight into the team.
The club would, we are told by senior figures, ideally like to bring in a striker, a goalkeeper, a holding midfielder and a classic winger but there will be no panic buying, like they were perhaps guilty of on the final day of the summer window. The recruitment team would be more than content to wait until the summer to pull off more considered, judicious deals. Quique Sanchez Flores, for one, has said how he prefers to recruit players in the summer window.