Vincenzo Montella has confirmed he will remain as Fiorentina head coach, but was surprised to be issued an ultimatum by the club.Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella says he is surprised by the pressure put on him by his club, but says he is happy to carry on in charge of the Viola.Montella then announced he will respect his current contract which runs until June 2017.
Montella had been noncommittal about his personal future after criticising the behaviour of some of the club’s fans towards the end of the season. Montella’s men were subjected to jeers from the home fans as their best hopes of qualifying for next year’s Champions League slipped away.The way his players were ridiculed during their Europa League semifinal defeat to Sevilla led to him questioning his future.”I have a contract, we’ll evaluate everything at the end of the season,” the coach said, following the disrespect behaviors by the fans.
And in Friday, a statement was published on the Serie A club’s website demanding Montella make a decision without delay.Fiorentina feared losing Montella, who has been linked with the vacant Napoli job.He has also been a reported target of AC Milan following another strong season with the Viola.
“The club are still waiting to be told by the coach Montella about his clear position, with respect to the agreements taken and the correctness shown up to now,” read the statement. “We feel that, for the respect we all owe to this club and the fans, it is indispensable that we this situation is resolved, and we cannot wait any longer.”
Montella’s reaction came within an hour following the club’s statement. He said to the Italian media: “I am surprised by the club’s announcement. We have been discussing the content and projects for the future for months and I think, particularly to be respectful to the fans and this club, we need to be clear about the future, regardless of my own presence. But I’m the Fiorentina coach and I am available to continue at the helm with enthusiasm.”
The former Roma manager led Fiorentina to a fourth-place finish in Serie A this season and his team also reached the semi-finals of the Europa League and the Coppa Italia.Montella, 40, joined Fiorentina in the summer of 2012 from Catania and led the team to a fourth-place finish that season.He then guided the Viola to the Coppa Italia final in the 2013-14 campaign where they lost to Napoli.
Director general Andrea Rogg also spoke to the media about the situation.“It’s nothing dramatic, we just want a sense of unity as soon as possible so we can start planning the season.We want to work with Montella in future, but now it is decision time. So far the club has not contacted any potential replacements, but we do have a list of names. We had to do that in the situation.”