Manchester City striker target Stevan Jovetic has reportedly been told he can leave next summer. The 22 year old Montenegrin international presently plays for Italian club Fiorentina and was linked with a switch to the English champions earlier this summer, when City signed young defender Matija Nastasic from the club. Jovetic has also been linked to European champions Chelsea.
Goal.com now reports the player has come to an agreement with the club, which could see him move next season once the Italians have arranged suitable replacements. Fiorentina general manager Sandro Mencucci was all praise for the forward, who, he claimed, showed dedication by snubbing the big money move to ensure his club could survive without him. The club valued him at £28m.
"The fact that he has stayed is the most beautiful thing. He has remained and is also happy. Was he close to leaving? There were requests but it was very good of my president to convince him to stay," Mencucci said in the report, which also quotes an inside source as drawing parallels to Italian striker Luca Toni's departure in 2007. Incidentally, Toni has re-signed with the Viola for this season, after leaving German giants Bayern Munich on a free.
"Fiorentina have worked out a deal with him," the 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."
Roberto Mancini's City side have removed Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Paraguayan international Roque Santa Cruz from their first team, meaning they now have space and finances available to move for the Montenegrin. However, Mancini must decide if he can give the player first team football, considering there is already a surplus of top class forwards at the Etihad - Argentineans Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, Italian Mario Balotelli and Bosnian Edin Dzeko.
The latter was heavily linked with move out of the Etihad this summer but a combination of failed agreements with suitors and a lack of suitable replacements meant Mancini decided to retain the player's services. Should City move for Jovetic in the summer of 2013, then it is unlikely Dzeko will remain with the club beyond that time.
The Montenegrin already has three league goals to his name in Italy this season and is joint top scorer, for now, with AC Milan's Giampaolo Pazzini. Fiorentina are 11th in the league, with three points from two games.