Atalanta sign Miranchuk and Romero, sell Castagne

Atalanta moved quickly in the short transfer market window and already finalized two significant acquisitions ahead of the 2020/21 season, adding Aleksey Miranchuk from Lokomotiv Moscow and Cristian Romero from Juventus.

The 24-year-old Russian attacker was signed for €14.5M, as the fee was reduced by the fact that the contract with his former club was set to expire in 2021. He inked a four-year contract with the Goddess, with an optional fifth one. Miranchuk is coming off a career year where he scored 16 goals in 32 appearances across all competitions, including two against Juventus in Champions League, and provided five assists. He has found the target 43 times in 223 total matches in last nine seasons, all with the same team.

The fizzy forward can feature in a number of roles in the front-line and he will be the first in line to fill in for Josip Ilicic, who has not played since July and is currently away from the team to solve some mental health and personal problems. However, Miranchuk is recovering from a thigh injury that could sideline him in the first two or three matches of the season. He is better suited for the second-striker spot than Ruslan Malinovskyi and Mario Pasalic and Gian Piero Gasperini rarely deploys Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel together.

The Bergamaschi also purchased Romero from Juventus, who joined on a €2M two-year loan with conditioned €16M obligation to buy from Juventus plus €2M add-ons. The 22-year-old Argentinian centre-back played at Genoa in the past two seasons, notching 57 appearances and scoring three times. He was acquired by the Bianconeri in July of 2019 for 26M and loaned back to the Grifone.

Romero is familiar with the three-man defence and featured both as the linchpin and as the right centre-back in this formation. He bolsters a rearguard that currently features Rafael Toloi, José Palomino, Berat Djimsiti, Mattia Caldara and Bosko Sutalo. He showed great physical skills in his time with the Rossoblù, but also some recklessness, as he has been booked 23 times in Serie A already and sent off twice.

The Orobici also bid farewell to one of their core players in the past few days, since Timothy Castagne transferred to Leicester City for €22M. He compiled 96 caps in the last three years, hitting the net eight times. While his role was very prominent 2018/2019, he was mostly the top back-up on both flanks in the past campaign. They have been able to hold on incumbent starters Robin Gosens and Hans Hateboer for now and they are eyeing Roma’s Rick Karsdorp and Verona’s Marco Faraoni as reserve on the right flank. On the left one, they could keep Arkadiusz Reca, who is back after a decent loan spell at SPAL.

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