Fiorentina’s Kalinic turns down 40mn-euro China option

Rome (AFP) – Fiorentina’s Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic said Friday he would stay with the club rather than respond to an overture from China.

Chinese outfit Tianjin had expressed interest in securing his services.

But Italian media quoted comments by Kalinic to Croatian website Sportske.hr confirming he was staying put.

“I am staying at Fiorentina, it’s my decision. I don’t know how much Tianjin offered my club. I received an offer and decided to stay where I am. That is my definitive choice,” Kalinic said. 

Fiorentina released a statement saying they were delighted with the news.

“Fiorentina learn with great pleasure of the declarations made by Nikola Kalinic to Croatian media and of his intention to stay in Florence,” said the club.

Italian media reported Tianjin Quanjian, coached by Fabio Cannavaro, had offered around 40 million euros over four years in salary to prise him away.

Chinese clubs have been busy seeking top top names even though this week the Chinese Football Association cut the number of foreign players that top-flight teams could field from four to no more than three per match for the coming season.

Fiorentina, ninth in Serie A, said they had not been in any talks with Tianjin over Kalinic, who has turned into a club favourite since arriving two seasons ago from Ukrainian side Dnipropetrovsk.

To date, he has scored 25 goals in 67 games.

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