Atalanta Closing in on Shakhtar Donetsk Midfielder

After completing the purchase of Joakim Maehle from Genk, Atalanta have reached an agreement to sign Viktor Kolavenko from Shakhtar Donetsk for free in the summer at the end of his current deal, reports, adding that the player has already signed a pre-contract. Moreover, it can not be ruled out that the Bergamaschi will make an attempt to acquire him for cheap in January.

The 24-year-old Ukrainian midfielder is poised to leave Shakhtar after spending the entirety of his career there because he is a home-grown product. Since becoming a regular in 2015, he has collected 192 appearances, scored 32 goals and provided 12 assists. He already has significant international experience as he has played 24 times in Champions League and has 30 caps with Ukraine. Similarly to Mario Pasalic, Kovalenko is versatile and he will be able to play both as pivot and as attacking midfielder in Gian Piero Gasperini’s schemes and featured more in the second role in recent years.

Our view

It is a no-brainer move for Atalanta given the favorable conditions of the deal, however, unless there are some exits, they risk having a logjam in that position. Despite the uncertain situation related to Alejandro Gomez, they already have Josip Ilicic, Ruslan Malinovskyi and Matteo Pessina as trequartisti and have yet to fully incorporate Aleksey Miranchuk, their prized acquisition in September. Perhaps both Kovalenko and Pessina will be utilized more as pivots, where Marten De Roon and Remo Freuler have been their only good options for a few years now.