It is proving tough to replicate last season's impressive third-place finish in Serie A but La Dea are still only two points off the European berths and have already booked their place in the Champions League knockout phase. Real Madrid await in Europe while Coppa Italia success and continental qualification through the league are far from being out of reach for Gian Piero Gasperini's men.
RANKINGS UPDATE— Euro Club Index (@EuroClubIndex) December 22, 2020
No changes in the top-🔟
🇮🇹 @Atalanta_BC are now the 17th best team in Europe, their highest ever position.
🇪🇸 @SevillaFC up 1 to 12th
🇵🇹 @FCPorto up 2 to 18th
See the full ranking of over 700 top flight European clubs here: https://t.co/pU5bgH3uls pic.twitter.com/7c7JWNkpd6
Fabrizio Romano's take on Atalanta
Resolving the Papu Gomez situation is Atalanta's January focus. The captain has had problems with coach Gasperini and wants to leave the club immediately. Gomez's agent Giuseppe Riso has held talks with various clubs about his client. Meanwhile, Atalanta's priority signing was a right-back and they have already secured Joakim Maehle from Genk for around €10 million.
Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez is set to leave Atalanta in January.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 14, 2020
He had a fight with Gasperini during the half-time of the #UCL match against Mydtjlland. “When I’ll leave the club, you’ll know the truth”, he said.
Captain against manager. ‘Papu’ wants a new club 🇦🇷 #transfers
Players Atalanta should target
With Maehle already secured and set to join the squad in January, Atalanta have taken care of their priority position before the window even opens. Once again, it is an example of how the Italians are one of Europe's best-run clubs at present thanks to their excellent scouting setup. Outside of the Denmark international, only three Serie A clubs are scoring more than the Bergamo outfit at present but seven boast better defenses. Although a tight back line is not necessarily required at Gewiss Stadium, it could make the difference in European qualification this season. It remains to be seen if Maehle alone will help to address those figures.
Players most likely to leave
Gomez. Up until recently, Gasperini was still fielding the Argentina international but it now seems that his time with the club is definitively over. Josip Ilicic's slow return to form softens that blow while there is also Aleksei Miranchuk to step up and play a greater role and that enables Atalanta to take their time in finding the best taker for their out-of-favor skipper. Otherwise, Gli Orobici will probably wait until the summer to make the majority of their changes.
Atalanta transfer prediction
With Maehle already in, the odds are that Gomez's departure will conclude Atalanta's winter business and enable Gasperini and his players to focus on the second half of the season as they aim to rediscover their thrilling form from the second half of last campaign. Perhaps an unexpected offer could tempt them to cash in on one of their key performers, but it is hard to see many -- if any -- European clubs capable of offering enough to tempt the Italians to the negotiating table in January.