There has been a development in Florence which has now gathered some pace as reports of Milan Badelj’s current situation in Italy can finally result in the player moving out of the club for free in June 2017. Dejan Joksimovic, the agent of Badelj, has long since been feeding stories to the media about his player’s unhappiness in Florence.
The 27-year old midfielder’s current contract at Fiorentina is until June 2018 and the club are refusing to listen to any offers for him. This has forced the Croatian to consider invoking Article 17 of FIFA’s Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players. The ruling allows any player who signed a contract before the age of 28 to buy himself out of the contract three years after the deal was signed. That would mean Badelj could leave Fiorentina in June 2017 on a free transfer to any club of his choice.
Having a sniff of the current situations, AC Milan, Chelsea, Roma and Schalke have all made enquiries about the player. Chelsea seem to be interested with Antonio Conte an admirer of the player. Since his move to Fiorentina Badelj’s has shown a remarkable ability to marry flair with function. Having joined the club in August 2014 for a modest £3 million fee after two excellent seasons with Hamburg in the Bundesliga and, after a slow start to his Viola career – he spent much of the first half of his debut season in Italy on the bench – Badelj began to star after the appointment of Paulo Sousa as head coach.
The Portuguese manager has been excellent with his tactics which has allowed the Viola to transform their game and the Croatian midfielder has been a key component in the implementation of the tactics used by his manager.
A player with proven talent, Badelj caught the eye in the 2016 Euro Cup as well playing beside the wonderful Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. He did his job silently and effectively just like he does it with Fiorentina. In his time at Italy, the Croatian has been able to develop further by improving his tactical maturity.
The most appealing thing for Conte is the ability of the player to flourish in a formation with a three man backline. Paulo Sosa’s refreshing 3-4-2-1 has been the favoured formation for the majority of last season. This season, Fiorentina have shaped up in some more different shapes which has included 3-4-3, 3-5-1-1 and 3-4-1-2 to name a few. Having almost an excellent education by now in executing his tasks efficiently with three at the back, the midfielder can be a brilliant option for Chelsea almost guaranteed to be a success.
The 27-year old also offers a broad dimension of gameplay to his manager being adept in getting involved in the attacking moves with his technical ability and guile alongside the defensive work rate and discipline. Badelj is more than able to provide the defensive shield for his team at the base of the midfield and with his positional awareness he can stop the attacks sometimes by not having to make a tackle just the same way as Matic.
A move for Badelj is thus very justified and much expected from Conte. If Chelsea does manage to get their hands on the player they will have a fantastic option in their ranks which will increase the strength of the Blues considerably.