In church congregations across Florence, they have been saying the same prayer every Sunday for months. Others have been rubbing the nose of the famous wild boar bronze Il Porcellino in the heart of the city in the hope of good fortune. The more practical have beseeched new owner Rocco Commisso to break the bank in order to fulfil their wish. But the end goal of all this supplication has been the same - to keep Federico Chiesa at Fiorentina for at least another season.
But why should the player commit to the cause?
The ‘big means best’ football philosophers would blanch at the very thought of him languishing a further year at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. His list of alleged suitors - most of Italy’s domestic giants and numerous huge clubs from abroad - reads like a Who’s Who of European football’s very best. With the sport providing such a short career, why on earth should he resist their overtures?
There’s a logic in that, of course. If you want to achieve the most you can as a player, then you will want to compete at the highest level, which is currently impossible at the Tuscan club. They finished the last campaign in a shambles and few could blame him for walking away. A footballer of his talent deserves a regular tilt at a title or two as well as being a conspicuous contender in continental competition.
There’s also the financial aspect, too, with his current employers not among the highest payers in the game. In monetary terms it would be a no-brainer to move to some Champions League qualified outfit. Indeed, if economics is the only motivation, there can be little argument that a summer move would be best for both Chiesa and his club.
However, there could be a case for staying put for at least another 12 months, despite the interest of pretty much everyone who is anyone in the European game. He will undoubtedly get good advice from his father - Enrico - who moved around a fair bit during his career. There can be more to the game than simply making as much money as you can from the biggest club available as quickly as possible. That’s a sentence worth reading again in modern football.
Those who think the Viola prospect overrated have probably not got this far, but let me assume that if you are still with me, you accept that he is something pretty special and a talent worth nurturing. A big money move to a more illustrious side might make financial sense, but would it necessarily help him become the best player he can be? The competition for attacking places at most of his potential transfer destinations is intense. I have yet to be convinced that sitting on a bench waiting - regardless of how much you are learning from training with greats - is really the best option for a young footballer.
There is also the little matter of the regime change in Florence, which must make remaining a little more attractive. If the chaotic conclusion to the Della Valle era was still ongoing, almost any player in his right mind would have been assessing his exit options. However, the new Italo-American ownership promises a much more attractive future.
Commisso has certainly made great play of wanting to build a team around his star and that - if it is true - has to be something that might tempt the 21-year-old to stay. He is young enough to still become a legend elsewhere even if he commits to the purple colours for a little longer. And, in the meantime, he could cement his status in Florence among its future Hall of Fame contenders.
It all boils down to the same old argument, in truth. Is it really selling yourself short to become a hero at a somewhat smaller club than one of many famous names at a giant side? For some, I know, the answer is a straightforward one and they would have been packing their bags already, but for others the question is a little more complex.
Of course Fiorentina fans are biased in their desire to see their mercurial matchwinner stay put, but there is a coherent argument that it would be best for the man himself too. He could be at the centre of a new project and, perhaps, deliver a European spot for the team which has helped to establish his reputation.
There is little room for sentiment in modern football, for sure, but maybe this time head and heart can still lead to the same conclusion.