Written By Onyeka Daniel
Even though the winter transfer window is officially closed in Europe’s top five leagues, players can still move to other leagues, on the condition that their transfer window is still open, and that is why Atalanta are about to send their star striker to the MLS.
According to their director, Luca Percassi, he confirmed that Luis Muriel is set to join Orlando City in MLS, but will be invited back to Bergamo for ‘the send-off he deserves.’
The Colombia international was for a long while the most expensive signing in the history of the club, purchased from Sevilla for €21.2m in the summer of 2019. “Let’s say the transfer should be completed over the next few hours,” Percassi told DAZN.
It is reported that Orlando City will pay Atalanta circa €1m for the transfer, while Muriel can sign a three-year contract for the Major League Soccer side. His deal with La Dea had been due to expire on June 30 and he should have a medical tomorrow.
This is also why Muriel is not in the squad with Atalanta for this afternoon’s Serie A trip to Genoa, so he won’t get to say goodbye to the fans. “When these things happen, there is not the opportunity to give an adequate salute to someone who was a protagonist for Atalanta.
“But the club assures we can invite him back to Bergamo before the end of the season so that the crowd can give him that send-off he deserves. “That is, of course, assuming it all goes through,” added Percassi.
Muriel scored six goals and provided one assist in 25 competitive games for Atalanta this season. In total, he found the back of the net 68 times in 184 matches for the club.
Bologna manager, Thiago Motta has told Joshua Zirkzee where he needs to improve and is glad their fans are dreaming of Europe ahead of the rescheduled showdown with Fiorentina in a midweek fixture. The Rossoblu had rather lost their way in recent weeks, but are now well and truly back on track with two consecutive victories, including this afternoon’s 4-0 demolition of Lecce.
Riccardo Orsolini bagged a brace between goals for Sam Beukema and January signing Jens Odgaard. “It was a very good performance, we were concentrated from start to finish and those who came off the bench also kept the same level,” Motta said in the post match interview with DAZN.
Although he has been eager to keep the fans calm, he did not deny being pleased at hearing the crowd sing ‘Saputo take us into Europe.’ “It was great and I am very happy, because the President deserves that for all his hard work. My players and I must be able to channel that enthusiasm in the right way, correct our errors and keep our feet firmly on the ground.”
Bologna are right back in the race for fourth place and go into a head-to-head with Fiorentina on Wednesday, which was rescheduled due to the Viola’s participation in the Supercoppa Italiana. The tactician has earned links with clubs such as Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain with his ideas, but refuses to take too much credit for the fantastically-worked third goal today.
“I take 0.001 per cent of the credit. Ultimately, it is the players who make those decisions on the pitch, they are the real protagonists of this sport.” However, Joshua Zirkzee seemed very irritated when substituted on the hour mark, even if it was to rest him ahead of the Fiorentina match. “When I watch the training sessions, I feel how difficult it is to make choices, because they all work well and have the right spirit.
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“Zirkzee is sad when he comes off because he always wants to be out there helping his teammates. He is doing great things, he is a leader, but has to improve the fact he gets irritated when he doesn’t score. He is a fantastic lad who always thinks about the squad.” Motta’s approach also has certain risks built in and they have been made to pay for those in the past, while it almost happened again in the opening minutes against Lecce.
“I ask them to play out from the back, but we do that to create problems for the opposition, it is not just about aesthetics. It would be too easy to blame one or another for errors in those situations, but there is a responsibility everyone shares, including myself. It takes courage to play the ball to feet out from the back.” He further added.
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