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Fiorentina says striker Toni can leave

Posted: Monday May 28, 2007 12:16PM; Updated: Monday May 28, 2007 12:16PM
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MILAN, Italy (Reuters) -- Italy striker Luca Toni has been told he can leave Fiorentina, the Serie A club said on Monday.

Toni, who has been heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich in the Italian press, held a meeting with Fiorentina President Andrea Della Valle and made it clear he wanted to go.


"Thanking him for the contribution he has made to the team in the last two seasons with 49 goals, the president has considered it necessary to give into the wish of the forward to further his career at another club," a statement read on the club's Web site.

Bayern only finished fourth in the Bundesliga this season and earlier this month club president Franz Beckenbauer confirmed the German side was keen on the 30-year-old.

"We have targeted the Fiorentina striker because he is a guarantee of goals, has character and always helps the team. He is a special type of guy. I really hope that he will come," Beckenbauer said.

Toni, a key part of Italy's World Cup-winning team last year, arrived at the Florence club from Palermo in 2005 and has helped it qualify for the UEFA Cup this season despite a 15-point penalty for its role in a match-fixing scandal.

He celebrated with his teammates after Fiorentina's 5-1 win over Sampdoria on the final day of Serie A on Sunday but it had already become clear he would be leaving and he took the opportunity to say goodbye to the fans.

He missed the match because of a recent foot operation, which also ruled him out of the Italy squad named on Monday for June's Euro 2008 qualifiers in the Faroe Islands and Lithuania.

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.