Atalanta chairman Luca Percassi, son of president Antonio Percassi, has refuted Saudi Arabian clubs’ active presence in player acquisition as a threat to the European market. Marcelo Brozovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are two high-profile stars to have been lured to the Kingdom from Serie A, but Percassi is focused on strengthening his squad.
Speaking from Atalanta’s preseason training camp (via Gianluca Di Marzio) in Clusone, Percassi shed light on his side’s preparation ahead of the new campaign.
“Many European clubs like Scalvini, Koopmeiners and Højlund, but at the same time they are players we would like to keep . They are very close to Atalanta. We clearly know the dynamics of the market, but beyond the individual names, our main objective is to strengthen the team. To do this, in the past we also relied on transfers, but now here we want players who are happy to be protagonists at Atalanta.“
He then spoke of Gian Piero Gasperini’s contract extension.
“We are enthusiastic about continuing with a great coach. His confirmation marked the starting point of the new season. I agree with him when he says that clubs would work more serenely if the transfer market closed on 31 July in Europe. The squad has been numerically completed by new arrivals , but the market is still very long . Gasp has always been good at talking about roles without asking for specific names: there is synergy and comparison between us.”
Percassi does not view Saudi investment as a threat but instead suggested the possibility of new opportunities.
“We don’t consider Saudi Arabia a threat. When a new market like this opens up, on the one hand it destabilizes us, on the other it can also create new opportunities.”
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