Atalanta Owner Dismisses Swap with Juventus and Dishes on Gasperini

Atalanta owner Antonio Percassi received an award and discussed a few topics. “It is hard to stay at the top levels considering that we are the smallest Italian side in a European competition. We will continue to propose our style of football with humility and hope the results will follow.”

He spoke about coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who is always in high demand: “He has three years left on his contract, and there are no issues on our part. Sometimes it is not easy to work with him. However, we almost adopted him, and we understood him by now. We let him vent after matches as we know he will be more serene the day after. He makes his presence felt and does not allow the players to underestimate anything.”

Atalanta have been hit by muscular injuries early on: “We did not have the usual pre-season preparation, and the schedule is hectic. That is problematic for players. I hope they will stop now.” 

He dismissed a rumored trade with Juventus between Luis Muriel and Dejan Kulusevski: “There is nothing real at the moment. We want to keep our striker.”

Atalanta will soon face Manchester United: “We hope to get a positive result and learn something from the game. We are indeed leading the group, but everything will become more difficult now. Every match will potentially be decisive. Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, and I often wonder what he thinks when he faces us. The Red Devils are a superb team.”

The chairman has often downplayed the club’s ambition: “I always consider avoiding relegation our first objective,” and touched on some players: “Roberto Piccoli is very strong. They told me Josip Ilicic showed well with Slovenia, and I hope he can keep it up with us too.”