Atalanta and Their Fans Have Classy Send-off for Ilicic

Josip Ilicic and Atalanta mutually agreed to part ways on deadline day. The attacker will have the opportunity to sign with another team in the next few weeks. The veteran saluted the fans before Thursday’s win over Torino.

He spoke to Sky afterward, signaling that he will not retire.

“I don’t know what my future will be yet. I will take some time to reflect, and I have to think about my family and myself. My intention is to keep doing what I’m capable of, which is playing football. I’m a free agent now. We’ll see. I think I still have something left in the tank. I’m ready for anything and I hope to find a team in Italy, which is my second home. We’ll see whether an opportunity materializes.”

Ilicic departs Atalanta after five years, where he was instrumental to their rise to the top with 60 goals and 44 assists in 173 appearances. The 34-year-old wasn’t involved in the pre-season as he was no longer part of the plans.

Despite the rumors, La Dea didn’t have any offensive exits on deadline day. Ruslan Malinovskyi stayed put as Olympique Marseille didn’t meet their asking price, Calciomercato reports. Leicester City made a late attempt for Jeremie Boga, who didn’t make the match-day squad list against Torino because he was distracted. However, he wound up refusing the move, Sportitalia reported.

Our Take on Ilicic Leaving Atalanta

It’s an end of an era, but it’s nice to see teams honor long-time staples. Gian Piero Gasperini probably wouldn’t have minded more departures to make the frontline more manageable. They have an embarrassment of riches and a great assortment now, but it will be tough to keep everybody happy.

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