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World Cup Hero To Be Back In Italy Next Season As Concerns Over Increased Fixtures Surfaces

Written By Onyeka Daniel

Despite efforts from Italian Serie A side, Fiorentina and Moroccan midfielder, Sofyan Amrabat to go their separate ways, it looks like the two parties will be reunited once again towards the start of next season at least.

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Because, according to reports in England, Manchester United have decided they will not take up the option to buy the player, so he returns to Fiorentina. The Morocco International had pushed hard for the transfer to Old Trafford all summer and it was finally completed on September 1, 2023.

It was a loan move for one season at a cost of €9m, with option to buy for a further €20m plus another €5m in add-ons. The negotiations dragged on for a long time precisely because the Viola wanted protection in case Manchester United failed to make the move permanent.


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This is also why the cost of the loan was a massive €9m and Amrabat also signed a new contract with Fiorentina. Now the Manchester Evening News reports that he is heading back to Florence, although he is unlikely to remain there, having burned his bridges with the local supporters. Amrabat made just 12 Premier League appearances for Manchester United, five in the Champions League and two in the EFL Cup.

Fiorentina had purchased him from Hellas Verona in January 2020 for €19.5m, leaving him at the Stadio Bentegodi on loan for another six months. Amrabat made a huge name for himself at the World Cup in Qatar, helping his national team to the semi-final of the tournament.

They defeated Portugal in the previous round before they were ousted by France and also lost to Croatia in the third place game. He has since failed to replicate that form in England, with the likes of Casemiro and Kobbie Mainoo enjoying more playing time than him.

Meanwhile…

Lega Serie A President Lorenzo Casini warned clubs are ‘unsatisfied’ with the proposed FIGC reforms, refusing to cut the league to 18 teams even after admitting crossover with UEFA fixtures becomes ‘inevitable.’ FIGC President Gabriele Gravina presented the proposals to reform Italian football, which include the idea of reducing the number of teams in Serie A from 20 to 18.

That particular plan has the support of the big three (Juventus, Inter and Milan) plus Roma but was voted down by the other sides and the Lega. Today the Lega Serie A had a meeting followed by Casini’s press conference, where he admitted that the expansion of the Champions League, Club World Cup and the Final Four format of the Supercoppa Italiana all add to the packed fixture list.

“The planned international calendar was presented and it will be approved in March, so an internal discussion within Serie A has started relative to the number of games played, seeing also decisions that regard Italian competitions. “It is packed, we recognised that over the last 20 years while the number of national matches has not increased – save for the Final Four Supercoppa – the number of international games has grown alarmingly.”

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Casini insists the clubs did not discuss reducing Serie A to 18 teams, but did note that “overlapping Serie A games with European ones will become inevitable. “Before discussing alternative formats, it is opportune that we clarify certain things.” The biggest problem that the Lega Serie A currently has with the FIGC is over power, as it has very few votes on the overall Federation board, fewer than the amateur leagues.

“The assembly examined the FIGC document and was unsatisfied with the priorities highlighted,” continued Casini. “The intervention on governance in the federal system and finding a better balance of representation is postponed. We will make clear to the FIGC that we do not agree with the order of the plan. Serie A does not feel adequately represented for what it brings to the table.”

Casini has threatened to set up a Premier League style breakaway model in Italy, but insisted today they “want a Serie A model, we cannot replicate models that exist elsewhere. We look at what works and then can modify it.” He further added.

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