For every footballer, the day will inevitably come when they must make the decision to stick or twist with respect to their employer.
Fiorentina’s Neto could talk for days about it at the moment. Once an error-prone youngster that looked destined to fall short of his potential, now he’s hot property.
Interest from around Europe left the Brazilian with a decision to make. His Viola contract expiring in June, he could renew with the club that brought him along or move on.
The Fiorentina hierarchy had made it clear they wanted him to stay, believing a show of loyalty was in order, report Football Italia. Neto, however, didn’t agree – and he’ll be on the move in due time.
But whether that will be this month or in the summer remains to be seen. At the weekend, the 25-year-old was dropped from the Fiorentina squad entirely by boss Vincenzo Montella, who has said there’s no place for a player set to depart.
Sitting in the stands for the remainder of the season would be a poor outcome for Neto, given that his stock is high at present and his priority is to advance his career.
Luckily for the Brazilian, more than a few clubs are in the market for him. That includes Liverpool, growing impatient with a faltering Simon Mignolet.
With relatively low wages, a high upside and potential free agent status, Neto has for some time looked an attractive option for the Anfield outfit.
Yet competition from inside Serie A was always likely. The option to stay in Italy but move to a bigger club could entice Neto, with his modest cost a boon to Serie A sides.
Juventus and Roma – the two current leading lights of Italian football – have been hotly tipped to move for Neto, though now the latter have appeared to distance themselves.
Roma director Mauro Baldissoni told Lady Radio: “Neto does not interest us.”
It’s quite a blunt statement from Baldissoni, one that leaves little doubt about a lack of intent from the Giallorossi to compete for the Brazilian’s services.
The capital club are in need of a new goalkeeper themselves, with 37-year-old Morgan De Sanctis looking his years this term – but don’t seem keen on Neto.
Liverpool then, now are in a showdown of sorts with Juventus. The questions is who will make the first move – and when.
The Daily Mirror have reported that it will take £2 million for Fiorentina to let Neto leave this month, despite having frozen him out indefinitely.
Between Liverpool and Juventus, it’s the Reds that have the more pressing need, the Bianconeri able to count on Gianluigi Buffon in goal.
Juventus would be looking to sign Neto as a back-up option to Buffon, with second choice goalkeeper Marco Storari likely to leave in the summer as he is out of a contract.
In turn, the Old Lady won’t require Neto until the season ends – and given the Brazilian’s ambitions, it’s questionable whether he’d choose Juventus to play second fiddle to Buffon.
Roma are out of the way for Liverpool, but where Juventus stand is a bit less clear. Moving quickly and stumping up the cash may be the key to signing Neto, as he’s likely keen to leave Fiorentina sooner rather than later given his situation in Tuscany.