Malago clarifies 'fake news' over Astori contract

Lega Calcio special commissioner Giovanni Malago has moved to clarify his claims Fiorentina would renew the contract of their late captain Davide Astori.

Astori was found dead in his hotel room in Udine on Sunday ahead of Fiorentina's scheduled Serie A match against Udinese. The precise cause of the defender's death remains unclear, but Udine's public prosecutor suggested cardiac arrest was the most likely reason.

Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle told reporters Astori had been due to sign a new contract on Monday and following reports this agreement would be honoured in order to support the Italy international's family, Malago seemingly confirmed the move at a news conference.

However, Fiorentina responded with a brief statement calling for "silence and respect" following Astori's death and Malago - also the president of the Italian National Olympic Committee - has since told Mediaset's Tiki Taka programme that he was taken in by a false story.

"I have to make an important clarification about an alleged renewal of the contract of Astori. It was news without foundation, fake news taken by an agency," he said, before offering assurances the club would support Astori's long-term partner Francesco Fioretti and their two-year-old daughter Vittoria.

"Fiorentina will certainly do something and support the family, which at this moment deserves respect and silence above all else," he added.

"Fiorentina rightly wants to take the right time to decide what to do."

Malago also confirmed Serie A teams will wear shirts paying tribute to Astori during this weekend's round of fixtures.

Astori's funeral will be held on Thursday at Florence's Basilica di Santa Croce.

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