Saturday June 8 2019
Atalanta: 'Ilicic stays, no Buffon'

Atalanta President Antonio Percassi assures Josip Ilicic “and the best players will remain in Bergamo,” but Gigi Buffon won’t join them.

This has been an historic campaign for the Bergamo club, as they finished third in Serie A, qualified for the Champions League for the first time ever and reached the Coppa Italia Final.

Work also started on reconstructing the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia.

“A football club is still a business and that means planning is necessary,” Percassi told reporters at an awards event.

“You need professionalism, seriousness and strategy, those components that allowed us to go beyond every conceivable dream scenario.

“We broke numerous records, reached the Coppa Italia Final and the Champions League. Every time I think about it, I still feel in shock.”

Coach Gian Piero Gasperini agreed to extend his contract, despite a job offer from Roma, because the club promised to strengthen the squad and not sell top stars.

Despite that, there continue to be reports that Ilicic and Duvan Zapata are heading towards Napoli this summer.

“Ilicic will remain in Bergamo, just as all the best players will. We are building a team that can impress in the Champions League and, obviously, in Serie A.”

There were also suggestions in the media that Buffon could end his career with Atalanta after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.

“He is an extraordinary character and also a friend. I give him a big hug, but we are going forward with Pierluigi Gollini,” continued Percassi.

“We have become an advert for the city of Bergamo and hope to continue like this.”

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