It does seem somewhat fitting that just a small amount of time after Marco Storari talks about potentially renewing his contract with Juventus, there's an update on one of his most likely replacements. Behold your agent speak!
While Neto has been linked with a move to Juventus for months now, nothing has officially happened. Maybe that's what has caused Storari to be optimistic about a contract renewal, or maybe it's just two completely different entities. But this is what Neto's agent, Stefano Castagna, has said in regard to the 25-year-old goalkeeper's current status for next season:
"The only thing that is official is that Neto will not be staying in Florence. Since Feb. 1, when it became possible to talk to other clubs, we've been evaluating offers that are interesting for the lad, in England, Germany and Spain in addition to Italy. One of those in England is Liverpool, and then there is a top Spanish club interested in him. Right now, the lad has to make a well pondered decision for his career. He's young and he's grown a great deal, but even when he was 18 he was one of the best in Brazil."
Yes, Neto is a good goalkeeper and has shown he's not done developing at a position that is notorious for producing late bloomers. I don't think anybody can deny that at this point in time. Well, unless you're Fiorentina and you're basically just like the bitter ex-girlfriend type and filled with rage about him leaving at the end of the season on a free transfer.
There was always going to be competition to sign him. That's what happens when you have a talented goalkeeper in his mid-20s available for nothing more than the price of the next contract he will sign. Neto's situation is a unique one simply because of how old he is right now and how he has progressed since he became a starter with Fiorentina.
But the decision for Neto is just as unique as the situation for clubs on the market for a more than competent keeper: Does he choose to be Gigi Buffon's understudy for the next two or three years at the very minimum and go from there? Or does he look to move abroad to England or Spain like his agent mentions above and challenge somebody for the starting job there? It's an interesting one, that's for sure — stay in a country he's comfortable in or head out somewhere else.
The good thing for Juventus is that if Neto is their main option for a No. 2 goalkeeper next season, then Storari is likely their backup plan. And as he's proven over the past four-plus years, Storari is about as good of a backup plan as you can get between the sticks.