Will We Witness Another “Gomez Case” at Atalanta?

Just when the Orobici fans were staring to adjust to life without their former captain and talisman Alejandro Gomez, another friction within the squad is reportedly taking shape. Josip Ilicic – to say the least – had an unusual second half appearance in the Champions League encounter between Atalanta and Real Madrid.

Gian Piero Gasperini introduced the Slovenian to the match in the 56th minute in place of Luis Muriel. However, the former Palermo man had a torrid time as he touched the ball on 29 occasions, losing possession 12 times. Therefore, the tactician opted to take him out of the match just 30 minutes after his introduction.

According to il Secolo XIX (via TuttoMercartoWeb), Ilicic didn’t take this substitution well, and his relationship with the Atalanta manager could be taking a turn to the worse. The 33-year-old left the pitch and went straight to the locker rooms avoiding a confrontation with Gasperini.

The former Genoa coach was also heard shouting at the player during the match, saying: “Stop complaining, do something!”

Earlier in the season, Gasperini clashed with his captain Gomez during another Champions League fixture, and the two men had to be reportedly restrained by the other Orobici players. Therefore, Papu ended up sealing a transfer to Sevilla during the January transfer session.

Whilst some reports indicated that Ilicic had also clashed heads with Gasperini during the Gomez-debacle, the Atalanta star was quick to deny it at the time. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen whether the relationship between the manager and the Slovenian stay intact after the latest episode against Real Madrid.

The report believes that it is unlikely that Ilicic starts for Atalanta against Sampdoria this weekend, unless a certain diplomatic resolution ends the rift quickly. The former Fiorentina star is considered as one of the most talented players in Serie A.