Fiorentina have signed Croatia midfielder Milan Badelj on a season-long loan from Lazio, the Stadio Artemio Franchi side announced on Monday.
Badelj returns to the Tuscan outfit just a year after leaving for the Italian capital on a free transfer, with the club’s sporting director Daniele Prade revealing in an impromptu press conference they have an option to buy him at the end of the loan period.
“I had the choice to stay at Lazio or return here. I chose the latter, even though I didn’t think there was any chance of it happening given that I left on a free,” the 30-year-old said at the conference.
Badelj, who spent four years at Fiorentina before his move to Lazio, has played more than 40 times for his country, scoring once as they reached the final of last year’s World Cup.
He won the Coppa Italia with Lazio last season, although he played no part in the final as Simone Inzaghi’s side ran out 2-0 winners over Atalanta.
Italian-American media magnate Rocco Commisso bought Fiorentina in June, ending the 17-year ownership of the Della Valle family led by billionaire Diego Della Valle, the head of luxury group Tod’s.
Hopes are high that 69-year-old Commisso, chairman of cable television provider Mediacom group and owner of the New York Cosmos, can breathe new life into Fiorentina after they escaped relegation to Serie B on the final day of last season.