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Serie A | Transfer Market: Atalanta are the ultimate transfer virtuosos: Kessie, Castagne, Gagliardini… now Romero?



Serie A | Transfer Market: Atalanta are the ultimate transfer virtuosos: Kessie, Castagne, Gagliardini... now Romero?

Atalanta are doing it again. With Fabio Paratici and Tottenham Hotspur sniffing around Cristian Romero, the ever-impressive Italian side look set to make another enormous profit on a player not long after signing him for comparative peanuts. That is, if they are to sell him.

Romero joined Atalanta ahead of the 2020/21 season on an initial loan deal from Juventus, having only played Serie A football with bottom-half regulars Genoa. A year on and with coach Gian Piero Gasperini having done what he does, transforming Romero into Serie A’s best defender and a Copa America winner, he’s now being linked with a 60 million euro move away.

Paratici‘s arrival at Spurs has seen him dip into Serie A as if it were a supermarket, expecting to show up with a sum of money and leave with what he wants. Pierluigi Gollini has already left Atalanta for Spurs, having been upgraded on in Bergamo with Juan Musso, and the north London side have been linked with countless others in Italy’s top flight.

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Standing firm

But Atalanta don’t allow themselves to be bullied, not even when there’s big money involved. First, they turned down around 35 million euros for Romero, then they reportedly said no to around 50 million euros, and Spurs aren’t dealing well with the rejection.

Gianluca Di Marzio is reporting that talks have come to a «firm stop» between Atalanta and Tottenham, with their most recent meeting ending «badly» as Spurs‘ frustration has become apparent.

Just another example

Romero appears keen to join Tottenham this summer, despite Atalanta having only just activated a release clause to sign him from Juventus for under 20 million euros. Within two months, they look likely to bring in three times that amount to let him head to the Premier League.

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It’s no surprise, though. Atalanta have been doing this for a long time, and they’ve been doing it successfully as well.

Academy graduate Roberto Gagliardini left for Inter in exchange for 22 million euros, Franck Kessie and Andrea Conti joined AC Milan for a combined total of close to 50 million euros, Mattia Caldara set off for Juventus for 20 million euros. And all of those are just examples of players who Atalanta developed from a young age to sell for big sums in the last few seasons.

Timothy Castagne is another. The Belgian arrived in Bergamo for 6.5 million euros in 2017, spent three seasons as third-choice full-back before being sold to Leicester City for 20 million euros in 2020. There have been others too, and there will continue to be more.

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Romero is likely to be the next player to leave Atalanta for a big fee, and Matteo Lovato has already landed from Hellas Verona as his replacement for a total of 11 million euros, including add-ons. At this rate, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him sold on at a profit after a year or two under Gasperini. Nor would it be shocking to see Giuseppe Pezzella – a new signing at left-back from Parma – have a good year or two and then leave for a profit as well.

Robin Gosens, Josip Ilicic and maybe some other players could yet still leave Atalanta, either this summer or in the subsequent transfer markets. But what’s clear is that their sales will be agreed on Atalanta‘s terms, and the Bergamaschi will probably continue to be just fine without them.


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