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Fiorentina owner Vittorio Cecchi Gori is trying to make up with Viola fans for selling Gabriel Batistuta by re-signing club legend Roberto Baggio, right, and he has also targeted Portuguese star Joao Pinto. "I’m thinking about something special to present to the supporters," said Gori.

Baggio set the Artemio Franchi Stadium alight in the late 1980s. "Baggio is a flag for the club and a great friend. There are many teams that want him, but we will see what we can do," said Gori.

Baggio may be 33, but Viola fans would welcome him back with open arms. There were riots on the streets of Florence when ‘The Divine Ponytail’ was sold to Juventus following the 1990 World Cup.

Gori apologised to supporters for selling Argentinian goal-machine Batistuta, but said the time had been right. "I was tired of resisting every year, and Batistuta is 31 now," he said.

The Fiore owner also claimed he would resist all moves for Italian national keeper Francesco Toldo and Portuguese playmaker Rui Costa. In fact, Costa's presence may tempt his national colleague Joao Pinto to Italy.

Pinto and Costa are great friends, but Costa is said to be unhappy at the Viola, especially now Faith Terim has replaced Giovanni Trapattoni.

Pinto, meanwhile, is determined to leave Benfica. "Sure I leave Benfica, but I don't know where I will go," he said from the Portuguese camp at Euro2000. "Fiorentina, it's interesting, but for the moment it's early to say anymore."

Brazilian Franca, who is 24 and plays for Sao Paolo, is also being lined up and Gori confirmed his intention to buy four of five players to lift Fiorentina back into the Italian elite after a disappointing 1999-2000 campaign.

"We are ready to spend £40 million," he said.
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