Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini is confident that his team won’t be in the Champions League to make the numbers next season. The Serie A side secured a final day victory against Sassuolo and that ensured that they qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Gasperini acknowledged that the team had experienced a difficult season in the top-flight and praised the players for their form during the backend of the campaign, he said: “It was a very difficult season and it ended with a game that certainly wasn’t easy. The boys have been wonderful, extraordinary. The Champions League was a goal that this club had never accomplished before. We managed to achieve it in an honourable way and we deserved it. In my opinion, we will do well in the Champions League.”
Legendary Italian manager Fabio Capello has said that Inter Milan remain a better option for Antonio Conte than AS Roma, should the 49-year-old aim to make a managerial comeback in the Serie A next term. Conte has been out of work since his dismissal from Chelsea last summer but he has been backed to make a return ahead of the 2019/2020 campaign.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Capello said that Roma are a good team and a couple of signings could put in the running for the Serie A title next term. However, he added that Inter remain the better option as they are already equipped and Conte would be better off choosing the Nerazzurri, he said: “Roma are a good team and with two of the right signings they can do something important. There are very interesting young people with a lot of quality already at the club and it would be a great challenge for him. However, Inter could be a better team for him. The Nerazzurri are already ready.”
Former Chelsea star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes the Blues should make an approach to sign Mauro Icardi from Inter Milan when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season. The Argentina international has endured a mixed relationship with the Nerazzurri amid his recent antics and reports have indicated that the Italian club may consider his sale during the summer.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Hasselbaink said that the Blues require a genuine goalscorer upfront and Icardi and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski are potential choices in his opinion. However, he added that the former could be the perfect foil for the west London side, given he has the age by his side to succeed with the former Premier League champions.
Inter Milan defender Stefan di Vrij has said that he is hoping to end the season on a high with the Nerazzurri by winning the rest of the league games. The Nerazzurri have experienced a mixed set of results in the backend of the season but they are nonetheless on course for a top four finish to the campaign.
Speaking to reporters, De Vrij indicated that he is excited about the club’s run-in after recovering from the recent injury concern. Furthermore, he spoke about the objective of winning the remaining seven games of the season such that the club can comfortably secure Champions League qualification for the second year running.
Due to a calamitous season in which Real Madrid have failed to compete for the La Liga title or the Champions League, Zinedine Zidane was reinstated as Los Blancos manager in March.
It is understood that the three-time Champions League winning manager returned to the Santiago Bernabeu with a number of special requests, including having a big say in which players are brought in during the summer transfer window. Reports suggest that one of the Frenchman’s primary targets is Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne.
Roma midfielder SteveN’Zonzi has said that the team are prepared to tackle Lazio in the weekend’s league derby at the Stadio Olimpico. The Giallorossi earned a hard-fought 3-2 win over relegation-threatened Frosinone in their recent league encounter and this has kept them within the hunt for the Champions League places with one-point separating them from fourth-placed AC Milan.
Speaking to Roma TV, N’Zonzi acknowledged that the previous triumph at Frosinone was crucial, given they could have dropped in the pursuit of the top four. Meanwhile, speaking on the derby, the former Sevilla star said that the game should be a fascinating contest with the great atmosphere and his side are prepared to do the league double against their city rivals.
Roma manager Eusebio di Francesco is pleased with the club’s late win over strugglers Frosinone on the road. The Giallorossi faced a must-win situation to catch up with fourth-placed AC Milan but they managed to do so in the hard way with the EdinDzeko coming up with the winner in the 95th minute of the game.
Speaking after the clash, Di Francesco acknowledged that no games are easy during the backend of the season and the same was the case with Frosinone, who are vying to beat the drop. He added to state the importance of the victory which has propelled the club to within one point off the Rossoneri, who are holding the final Champions League qualification spot.
Poland international Krzysztof Piatek has expressed his pleasure after making the switch to AC Milan from Genoa last month. The 23-year-old was the standout performer for Genoa during the first half of the season after contributing more than half of their league goals and he has continued with the same vein of form for Milan with three goals in the past two starts.
Speaking to Foot Truck, Piatek said that he is pleased to have made a quick start to his Serie A career after initially joining Genoa earlier in the summer. He added that he must adapt to the difficulties in the future, though that won’t change his style of play upfront, he said: “I’ve scored goals in Serie A, this is the pressure I’ve chosen. I must adapt, but I certainly won’t change. I plan to always be the same person and work like before.
The Champions League Round of 16 will be starting in just a few weeks time, and Juventus have landed in one of the most compelling pairings.
Juve will take on Atlético Madrid, the notoriously stingy defensive side out of La Liga with a strong recent history in Champions League play. And while Juventus is still being widely perceived as a potential contender for the league title, it’s not a matchup the side seems particularly thrilled with in the early going.