Atalanta captain Papu Gomez reportedly left training in anger today and things have been strained between him and coach Gian Piero Gasperini since the FC Midtjylland match in the Champions League. This is what we know so far…
The Argentine trained at Zingonia on Monday, where President Antonio Percassi was present to await the Champions League draws.
La Dea are drawn Real Madrid in the last 16 of the competition, but Gomez, according to Tuttomercatoweb, left the sports centre with his brother-in-law in a ‘mood that was anything but cheerful’.
The 32-year-old then had an outburst and told the Atalanta fans ‘they will know the truth when he leaves’ in a story on social media.
It all started during the match against Midtjylland in the Champions League, when Gomez refused to follow orders from coach Gian Piero Gasperini in the first half.
Reports emerged of a confrontation in the dressing room at half-time and Gomez didn't return to the pitch after the break.
He has since played against Ajax in the Champions League and President Antonio Percassi seemed convinced they could work it out behind closed doors.
Reports in Italy claim Gomez has apologised to his teammates, the club and coach Gasperini, and that he met with the club to calm the situation.
Gasperini said after the Ajax match that a coach ‘must have the freedom to make decisions’ and added after last night’s win that he doesn’t know how the club decides to resolve the case.
Gomez wasn’t happy to be left out against Udinese, a match that was postponed due to the weather and Gasperini decided to bench Gomez against Fiorentina yesterday too. Then, the attacker wrote a message to the fans on Instagram today, where he hinted his time with La Dea could be over soon and promised they would know the full truth when he leaves.
A complex situation, where Gasperini is not expected to reverse his position and due to ‘strained relations between Gasperini and Gomez’, Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio said the winger could leave the club already in January.
Gasperini has, over the last five seasons, lifted the Orobici to fight among the top four in Italy and qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League in back-to-back seasons.
His captain, who has spent seven years in Bergamo, has been a vital part of the side’s growth and Gasperini acknowledged Gomez’s role in their success, but said Atalanta 'must evolve' and a shock exit could be on the cards for the influential captain.