Gasperini: ‘Won’t resign, but Atalanta have three paths now’

Gian Piero Gasperini denies he is going to hand in his resignation today, but doesn’t clarify his Atalanta status either. ‘I see three paths towards the future.’

The coach has been increasingly uneasy with the situation after American investor Stephen Pagliuca purchased half the club’s shares from the Percassi family.

They are now running La Dea together with different ambitions to the ones they had when Gasperini first took over in 2016.

There were reports the coach was prepared to hand in his resignation today, something he hit back angrily at.

“Nobody talks to me, they just publish things. I’ve tried to stop giving interviews, because the words are always twisted and taken out of context,” he said at a Cittadella dello Sport event in Bergamo.

“I even heard suggestions I wanted to change 20 players in the squad. It’s not true. I am not going to resign today.”

However, he also sounded less than confident about the way forward with the new club infrastructure, especially after failing to qualify for Europe.

“I see three paths towards the future. The first is to make limited changes to strengthen the squad with a few top players who can immediately raise the level, which is what we did with Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel.

“The second path is bringing down the average age of the squad, getting the best out of players like Giorgio Scalvini and Teun Koopmeiners. These are the profiles that create profit, which Atalanta have regularly enjoyed.

“The third path is to do little or nothing, basically just float along and hope for the best. These are the three philosophies, the club has to make a decision. It’s not up to the coach, there are directors of sport, a President, CEO… Aside from what you want to do, it’s also important to look at what it’s possible to do.”

After three consecutive seasons of Champions League qualification, Gasperini hopes Atalanta fans have not become too accustomed to it.

“It is fundamental that we are clear. We cannot start a season and say the Champions League is our objective. What happened was extraordinary, not ordinary at all, and we need to be clear on that.

“If you ask me if this team is competitive enough to do what we achieved in the past, the answer is probably no. There is no justification to talk about the Scudetto or even the Champions League, especially seeing the money big clubs can splash around. We do not have a seat at that table.”

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