Monday May 15 2017
Gasperini: 'EL priority over Serie A'

Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini admits that he will 'prioritise the Europa League over Serie A next season'.

La Dea mathematically clinched their qualification for Europe after a 1-1 draw with Milan on Saturday.

"This season has overturned the usual position of Atalanta, even if there is still a point to mathematically secure fifth," the Coach told Radio Anch’io Sport. "But this season has changed the prospects of this club so much.

"Would I go abroad? England attracts me but I think I'll stay in Italy because there is an important quality of life here.

"I do not think that our league has anything to envy from the others, and what has happened in the last few matches shows we are about to experience a great end to the campaign since many positions are still open.

"Nobody wants to play in the Europa League? It’s an excuse. In the Europa League there are great teams and sometimes you go out because you don’t deserve to progress.

"We want to do the best we can and we want to finish fifth and then be as competitive as possible, and as far as I’m concerned I have the ambition to put the Europa League in front of the league."

After securing a sixth-placed finish in Serie A last season, Sassuolo have slid down the league this term due to the rigours of European competition. Is Gasperini concerned by this?

"Sassuolo have suffered? We are in tune with the club. They lost many players through injury and it's clear that whilst the situation was complicated I think it was just a one-off, I think it was an anomaly and not the norm.

"[Franck] Kessie and [Alejandro “Papu”] Gomez to Milan? If this happens then we can not be competitive. Atalanta have a necessity, like other teams at their level, to sell in order to reinforce.

"The President of this club invests in the stadium and in the youth, however, for the future of Atalanta.

"I do not think the team will be dismantled but if there’s going to be another to leave then the team will be reinforced.

"A symbol of the team?  Gomez. He became a major player in the league player. It’s hard to say because all the players have been extraordinary.

"Among the youngsters, including those who are a little less recognised, I would say [Andrea] Conti who scored eight goals and who reminds me of a young [Marco] Tardelli."

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