Milan (AFP) – Fiorentina will sanction want-away Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic after he failed to turn up for training Thursday amid reports of an imminent move to league rivals AC Milan.
Although no formal announcement has been made by either club, Kalinic is expected to become the latest recruit at Milan as the Serie A giants continue their impressive summer spending spree following their takeover by a Chinese consortium last season.
In the meantime, the Croatia marksman is set to be fined after “violating club regulations”.
A statement by Fiorentina said: “Nikola failed to attend our daily training session and did not inform the club of his reasons. The player, having violated club regulations, will be sanctioned.”
Kalinic, who joined Fiorentina from Ukrainian side Dnipro in 2015, has earned a reputation as one of the most clinical strikers in Italy’s top flight.
The 29-year-old, who spent two fractious seasons at Blackburn Rovers from 2009-2011, famously hit a hat-trick in a 4-1 San Siro win over Inter Milan two seasons ago — a win that sent La Viola top of the league for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
Kalinic’s training ground absence, meanwhile, will only fuel speculation that a move to Milan, where he would join up with former Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella, will be completed before the weekend — epecially if Colombian striker Carlos Bacca fulfils expectations and joins Villarreal.
The seven-time European champions have been Serie A’s biggest spenders so far in the summer transfer period with purchases exceeding 180m euros.
Former Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci (41.5 m euros), striker Andre Silva (Porto, 37.6m) and Andrea Conti (Atalanta, 24.7m) top Milan’s list of transfers ahead of the 2017-2018 season, which begins Saturday.