Tuesday July 23 2013
ADV: 'Fiorentina won't hide'

After buying Josip Ilicic from Palermo, Fiorentina President Andrea Della Valle warns Adem Ljajic and declares they’re targeting a top three finish.

Patron Della Valle spoke to fans at the pre-season training camp in Moena today, just as the club released a statement confirming a 9m deal for Ilicic pending a medical.

“With the team we’ve got right now, I cannot lie to the fans. I think we can dream of the Champions League along with five or six other clubs,” said ADV.

“I hadn’t said that for years, but now I feel ready to say it. The other word can only be said after a few months of the season,” he added, referring to the Scudetto.

“There’s no point in hiding, as it’s right to dream and sometimes dreams do come true. We have the right mix of youth, experience and world class players, meaning this team can continue to grow.

“If last year I’d said Fiorentina would have Mario Gomez playing alongside Giuseppe Rossi, people would’ve called me mad... I am satisfied that Florence has become a turning point for many champions.

“Fiorentina have earned respect and credibility, which at times can make the difference. Gomez turned down other options to come here. We have a Coach like Vincenzo Montella who all of Europe is asking for, but we are locking down to a long-term contract.

“We play good football and entertained every Italian, not just the Fiorentina fans. Nobody last year expected us to start so strong, as we deserved Champions League qualification every bit as much as Milan.”

Much of the summer spending spree was funded by Stevan Jovetic’s €30m sale to Manchester City.

“I want to thank Jovetic for all he gave to Florence. Promises have to be kept in life,” continued Della Valle.

“It was a shame to see him go, but it was the right epilogue for this experience. I must also thank his agent, who could’ve taken other paths. I hope he will remember all Florence gave to him too.”

There is one potential blot on the landscape for Fiorentina, as Ljajic’s contract expires in June 2014 and he has been heavily linked with Milan.

“I talked with him and now the directors will talk too. I am fairly optimistic. There are other priorities right now, which until today included securing Ilicic, but over the next few days we’ll be able to discuss it further.

“I am sure there will not be another Riccardo Montolivo saga.”

Last summer Montolivo refused to sign a contract extension and eventually joined Milan on a Bosman transfer as a free agent.

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