Adem Ljajic’s future at Fiorentina appeared increasingly uncertain after coach Vincenzo Montella sent him home prior to Monday night’s 2-1 win over Catania.
Speaking after the match, club president Andrea Della Valle said: “Almost certainly, he will leave Florence in the next few days.”
Ljajic, 21, whose contract expires next summer and who is attracting interest from AC Milan, Roma and Atletico Madrid, was initially in Montella’s squad for the Serie A opener.
However, the attacking midfielder was then told on the morning of the game that he was not going to be included.
“I’ve just spoken to him, and he was smiling,” Montella said at the post-match press conference. “Nothing sinister has happened and he’s not misbehaved towards his team-mates.
“I decided last night to include him in our squad of 23, and this morning at breakfast I told him to go home and not come to the stadium.
“He gave me a hug. It’s my decision -- the club didn’t force me to do anything. He still needs to mature, but he’s a good lad and doesn’t disturb anybody. But he’s not serene.” Earlier on Sunday, Montella had said he was “really sick of this whole situation”.
A bid for Ljajic from AC Milan has been rejected out of hand, but Della Valle has not ruled out the possibility of receiving an improved offer, while Roma are waiting in the wings should they sell Erik Lamela to Tottenham and Atletico Madrid are also reported to be interested.
“I’ve spoken about it with the coach and he assures me nothing has happened,” Della Valle said. “The player’s a bit unsettled, and Montella decided not to bring him here.”
Midfielder David Pizarro said: “Now it appears Roma want him. People have to make their mind up for themselves, and often there are so many different people advising you what to do that it becomes difficult.
“We’ve all advised him to finish his development here, but it’s up to him to decide. It’s not easy.”