Bologna CEO Claudio Fenucci admits only Thiago Motta knows whether he’ll remain after Champions League qualification, but while Joshua Zirkzee has ‘a particular contract,’ the other stars can stay.

The Rossoblu mathematically guaranteed their place in the top five of Serie A last night, sparking celebrations in the city centre, and can now prepare to be part of the biggest competition in European club football.

“It’s an achievement this club had not reached in 60 years, a journey that we started 10 years ago, as when we arrived, we were in Serie B,” Fenucci told Sky Sport Italia.

“Progressively, the club grew, we had good seasons and others that were less impressive, but it was always a growth process. With Thiago Motta, there was also a decisive step up in terms of performance and results.”

The squad had been given the day off, but everyone came together at the training ground last night anyway to watch Atalanta beat Roma 2-1, a result that guaranteed Bologna’s qualification.

Having not even participated in European competition for over 20 years, they now find themselves at the top table in the Champions League.

“We are already evaluating the profiles to reinforce this squad. The intention is to continue the journey with all the players we had this season.”

Uncertainty around Bologna heroes

However, there is some real uncertainty around Bologna, especially their biggest names, as coach Thiago Motta’s contract expires on June 30 and he has been heavily linked with Juventus.

“Only Thiago knows what he will do next and soon we will all know… In his last interview, he said that when there is something new to say, he will tell everyone, so I stick to that.

“We will talk over the next few days, he knows that we would like to continue with him for all he has given the team, not just in terms of their performances. It would be marvellous to continue together, now we need to talk to him.

“When we hired Thiago, he represented something new, a different model of football and of football culture. He played in big clubs, he was able to assimilate those concepts on how to deal with teams.”

Thiago Motta took over in September 2022 from Sinisa Mihajlovic, who battled leukaemia twice at Bologna before succumbing to the illness in December 2022.

“His smile is always with us. Sinisa arrived during a difficult moment for Bologna and he lifted us back up. He gave us motivation, a work ethic, and I think with him we might’ve started a similar cycle of success as the one we are seeing now. He contributed to this success.”

The other uncertainty is around Zirkzee, who has been linked with numerous clubs including Milan, Juventus, Inter, Arsenal and Aston Villa.

“We would like to give a sense of consistency, so keep the coach and as many players as possible,” continued Fenucci.

“Zirkzee has a particular contract, so he is in control of some decisions, but the others are all owned by us and the club is solid. We do not need to sell in order to finance new signings.”

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