Gian Piero Gasperini claims it would have been ‘almost a betrayal’ if he left Atalanta for Roma earlier in the summer.
Gasperini and Atalanta are preparing for their first-ever season in the Champions League, with Luis Muriel already signed up after a successful loan spell at Fiorentina.
“It’s an exciting period for us, a beautiful summer with compliments received for our incredible season,” the Coach told Radio Anch’io Sport.
“The Champions League really was a dream, an objective that the club had never reached. Now we’re thinking about the season coming up.
“Everyone at the club wanted Muriel, not just me. Muriel’s someone who has always scored lots of goals, also against us last season.
“We really wanted him and the club did very well to sign him. He’s a real coup for us. The club have a unique opportunity next season and have already said that, unless some very important offers come in, we won’t sell any of our key players.
“We have a strong group, we know how to play. In addition, we’ll try to add some players to improve the quality and value of the squad, to complete it.
“That’s the objective of the club. I don’t know about Guarin... After Muriel we’ll see, although I think it’s still very early to talk about other negotiations. There’s still time. We certainly have the finances now.”
The 61-year-old was then asked about his preferred opponents in the group stage.
“The best. That’s what we want,” he continued.
“If I had to choose, I’d go to Madrid against Real Madrid because they have a historic stadium. And then England.
“Our chances aren’t very high, so it’s better to go and play with the best.”
Gasp was close to taking over at Roma but chose to commit to the Dea, unlike Maurizio Sarri who moved to Juventus despite his past ties with Napoli.
“It would’ve been difficult to leave Atalanta right now. It would’ve almost been a betrayal. Roma were tempting, but what we achieved kept me here.”