By Wayne Veysey
Fiorentina have told prize asset Stevan Jovetic that he will be allowed to leave the club at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, Goal.com has learned.
The Serie A outfit managed to hold on to the Montenegro international this summer despite strong interest from Manchester City and Juventus. However, the Viola have come to an agreement with the striker that he can be sold next year.
Sources have said that senior Fiorentina officials feared a huge backlash from supporters if they sanctioned the sale of Jovetic before the summer transfer window closed last Friday.
City pursued the 22-year-old as part of a double swoop which also included Serbian defender Matija Nastasic, who they secured on deadline day for €15 million.
The Premier League champions also indicated in discussions with Fiorentina that they were willing to meet their €30m valuation of Jovetic, only for the price tag to be increased to €35m as the Italian club moved the goalposts.
“The fact that he has stayed is the most beautiful thing. He has remained and is also happy,” Fiorentina general manager Sandro Mencucci said when the window shut. “Was he close to leaving? There were requests but it was very good of my president to convince him to stay.”
It is understood that Jovetic agreed to remain in Florence for another season on the proviso that he can leave next year.
“Fiorentina have worked out a deal with him,” a well-placed source told Goal.com. “They said, ‘Stay another year so we can plan for your departure at the end of the season’. They did the same thing with Luca Toni the year before he left.”
Coincidentally, Toni, 35, has returned to the club he departed in 2007 after a goal-laden two-year spell, but he is currently behind star man Jovetic in the pecking order.