Montella hails 'dream' signing Gomez
Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella has said the Viola fans have every right to dream following the impending arrival of Mario Gomez from Bayern Munich.
The Germany international is due to be officially unveiled as a Fiorentina player on Thursday, once he undergoes a medical and puts pen to paper on personal terms.
His arrival has sparked a wave of euphoria in Florence with the club's fans believing they can now improve on their fourth-place finish from last season - and Montella has no intention of stifling their enthusiasm.
"It's only right that they dream," Montella said. "We know that it's going to be hard, but it's right that the fans dream because if you can't dream, then there's not much left. Certainly only what happens on the field will show whether this side are capable of repeating what we achieved last season, and then we can look further."
Fiorentina were challenging AC Milan for a place in the Champions League right up until the final minutes of last season. Only a late Philippe Mexes strike in Siena earned the Rossoneri third spot in the final Serie A standings with a 2-1 victory.
Fiorentina's 5-1 win in Pescara was consequently only enough for fourth and a place in the Europa League next season, but the arrival of Gomez has raised expectations for the coming campaign.
"Everybody knows he's a great player and that we're delighted to get him," said Montella. "We hope to impress again, both in terms of results and the way we play. That is what I hope for."
Gomez is expected to form a partnership with fit-again Italy international Giuseppe Rossi, although the probable sale of Stevan Jovetic could lead to the Viola investing again in the transfer market.
"We'll have to see," said Montella. "You can always improve your squad so I always expect the best and the most, but let's take things one step at a time for now. The first step should be the official announcement of Gomez."
Meanwhile, Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has accepted Gomez's wish to seek regular first-team football, while outlining his confidence the Bundesliga champions will cope in his absence.
He told Die Welt: "The past season he wasn't happy with his role as a second-choice striker. As early as April we have held talks with his agent. No one could guarantee Mario that his situation would change.
"Then he asked to make the switch to Fiorentina. He wants to play for a team in which he can be the No. 1 striker, where he always plays. You should not forget: the World Cup is taking place next year. We lose a player with good stats. But we are very well positioned in attack."
Rummenigge added: "It was a good transfer, it was not loss-making. I am certain he will have a successful time at Fiorentina. He carefully considered his transfer to Italy. There has also been interest from Spain and England. He will help the Italian football. There is a lot of enthusiasm in Fiorentina. I do not begrudge Mario that."