Fiorentina have agreed to sign Luis Muriel on loan from Sevilla despite strong interest from AC Milan.
The 27-year-old Colombian forward joined the La Liga outfit from Sampdoria in 2017 but has been struggling for playing time under Rojiblancos boss Pablo Machín.
Will Muriel be a good signing for Milan? Five key things to know…
- Muriel enjoyed five seasons in Serie A prior to joining Sevilla.
- He represented US Lecce before joining Udinese and then Sampdoria.
- Across no fewer than 165 appearances in Italy’s top division he scored 43 goals and made 33 assists.
- His performances earned him a big move to Sevilla in the summer of 2017.
- Muriel, across his first season, registered seven goals in 29 league matches but has only made six appearances during the 2018/19 campaign.
A lack of appearances, having only featured in six of Sevilla’s opening 17 league matches this season, could see Muriel depart on a temporary basis this month.
One club being heavily linked with his signature is Milan, who currently sit fifth in Serie A, and manager Gennaro Gattuso – looking to acquire extra firepower up front – revealed they’ve discussed bringing him to the San Siro.
“I don’t know if we’ve got him, but we have talked about him,” he told Sky Sport Italy, according to Football Italia.
“We talked about him, as we did about other players. Muriel can play wide, but you need to make the most of his characteristics and get him to attack the goal. He can play as a support striker too.”
It’s now confirmed that Muriel is returning to Italy, but instead of donning Milan’s famous red-and-black jersey, he will be sporting Fiorentina’s violet strip.
Muriel, after undergoing a routine medical examination, will sign on a loan deal until the end of the season with Fiorentina having the option of making it a permanent acquisition.
Is Gattuso’s future at Milan in doubt?
Gattuso, who enjoyed a stellar playing spell at Milan, returned as their manager in November 2017 and has overseen 59 matches to date.
So far in his tenure Milan have picked 28 wins (giving Gattuso a win ratio of 47%) and been on the losing side 14 times. Going forward they’ve registered 89 goals (one every 60 minutes) and conceded 68 (or 1.15 per game).
Gattuso, having been parachuted in well after last season began, guided Milan to a sixth place finish and they’re currently sitting fifth.
However, speculation continues to mount about his future with reports suggesting former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is waiting in the wings.
For now, it seems, he is safe. According to Sky Sport Italia reporter Gianluca Di Marzio, the club’s hierarchy – chief executive Ivan Gazidis, sporting director Leonardo and Paolo Maldini – discussed Gattuso’s position following Milan’s 2-1 win against SPAL over the weekend and subsequently reiterated their faith in him.
Next up for the Rossoneri is a Coppa Italia fixture away to Sampdoria on January 12.