Stevan Jovetic on verge of move to Manchester City - but is the Fiorentina striker worth £27m?

Jovetic appears destined for the Premier League - but will he adapt? Dylan Fahy profiles the Montenegro international

Stevan Jovetic’s journey from the Montenegrin capital to Manchester included a stop off in Florence. Whispers of interest in the then curly-haired playmaker from United before 2007 never developed into a transfer, but the player’s ultimate destination this year looks likely to be in northwest England.

Fiorentina signed the prospect from Partizan Belgrade in 2008 shortly after the youngster made his international debut for the recently formed nation of Montenegro. He hastily established his credentials in Italy as a silky second striker with a keen eye for goal. With over 10 goals in three of his four full campaigns, the Podgorica native terrorised defences and attracted attention from around the continent.

The 23-year-old has developed dramatically with every passing year on the peninsula, and blossomed into a truly unstoppable trequartista when in his pomp. Aside from being sidelined for the entire 2010-11 campaign, he has consistently been at the fore of the club’s brief successes in the Champions League and return to prominence last term under the guidance of Vincenzo Montella, as they finished fourth.

Manuel Pellegrini is set to acquire a player fully capable of adapting to the rigours of the Premier League. Ideally he will operate behind a target man leading the line such as Edin Džeko, Álvaro Negredo or perhaps even Sergio Agüero as previous partnerships with Alberto Gilardino and Luca Toni highlight. Alternatively, he is also an option as a ‘false 9’ as Montella employed him throughout last season.

Manchester City look set to land the Montenegrin magician in spite of Italian champions Juventus being his first choice club to move to this summer, as it is widely believed he would still accept a Serie A stay. However, the perfect conditions never presented themselves for the transfer to Turin to take place.     

Jovetić crossed a line with the dedicated Fiorentina faithful with his interview at the beginning of June in La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Juventus have been following my progress for a year,” began the deep-lying forward, “Who would not be flattered when they say I come before [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, [Carlos] Tévez and [Gonzalo] Higuaín on their list? I do not even think it is a betrayal to my club to admit it.”

Viola president Andrea Della Valle voiced his outrage at the tone of the discussion being portrayed as “pro-Bianconeri” in the pink newspaper, and subsequently fined his star player for his comments. The teams have generally shared a bitter relationship, but it was the controversy surrounding the Dimitar Berbatov transfer last summer that tipped the scales and created a poisonous atmosphere between the pair.

Fiorentina director of sport Daniele Pradè judged the mercurial Bulgarian to be the missing link in attack for Montella’s team – a void since filled by the signings of Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gómez. The Viola had paid for the Manchester United man’s airline tickets, and fans eagerly gathered at Peretola airport to greet his anticipated arrival. However, he never boarded his connecting flight from Munich.

It transpired that Juventus, at the time enveloped by rumours as to the identity of their new ‘top player’ upfront, had attempted to hijack the transfer. In the end, Berbatov stayed in England and joined Fulham.

The entire ordeal made it problematic for the Turin-based club to turn around to Fiorentina this year and negotiate a viable deal for Jovetić. The Old Lady simply could not reach the Montenegrin international’s buy-out clause of £27m, despite trying to bring the fee down by including young players such as Manolo Gabbiadini and Luca Marrone in attempted bids. “Even if Juve offered just £1 less than the £27m we would not accept it,” smirked Viola chief operating officer Sandro Mencucci on ‘Jojo’s’ potential suitor.

The Italian media reported the Blues to be in contact with Jovetić’s agent Fali Ramadani shortly after Bianconeri director general Giuseppe Marotta dampened rumours on him being a transfer target after signing Tévez. “He will go to a club that can afford his buy-out clause,” explained Juve manager Antonio Conte during his first press conference of the season on Thursday, ”And right now Italian teams cannot.”

Napoli certainly could afford a bid for the forward – as their president Aurelio De Laurentiis revealed they have just under £110m to splash on marquee names fresh off cashing in Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain for £53m. However, the film director also disclosed that Ramadani had told him over a year ago that his client would favour a passage to England instead of making the move south.  

City chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of sport Txiki Begiristain are all set to seal a deal with Fiorentina at a reported £25m plus bonuses adding up to the full amount of the buy-out clause. Jovetić was videoed visiting friends around Florence on Monday, in which he appeared to be saying goodbye to a city that fully embraced him, as he opens up a new chapter away from the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home