Manchester City have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of centre-back Giorgio Scalvini, who now looks set to stay with Atalanta.
The Lowdown: Man City linked with Scalvini
According to Calciomercato, the Premier League champions joined the race to sign the 19-year-old towards the end of November, but Atalanta were determined to keep hold of him until the end of the season and were unwilling to entertain offers of less than £27m.
Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid were all named as potential suitors in the same report, so Pep Guardiola would have had to do battle with some European heavyweights to secure his signature.
However, it now appears as though Atalanta have taken an even firmer stance and won’t be willing to sell the youngster anytime soon…
The Latest: Scalvini set to stay at Atalanta
As per Fabrizio Romano on Twitter, Atalanta president Antonio Percassi has shot down the hopes of Man City and anyone else who had eyes on a move for Scalvini.
The Nerazzurri chief told Eco di Bergamo: “We are not gonna sell him now, for sure. Scalvini is the symbol of our Academy project, so he will stay.”
The Verdict: Blow for Man City
Lauded as a ‘dominant, elegant & complete centre-back’ by Football Talent Scout Jacek Kulig, the 19-year-old is a hugely precocious talent, as indicated by the fact that he is already a regular feature in Serie A and has made three senior appearances for Italy.
The 6 foot 5 colossus has amassed 29 league appearances for Atalanta since breaking into the team last season, putting in a string of impressive displays – notably in his team’s 2-0 win at Empoli in October, in which he made the joint-most tackles and interceptions of any player on the pitch.
These are consistently good traits possessed by the teenager, with an average of 2.7 tackles per 90 over the past year placing him in the 97th percentile compared to his positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues, while a match average of 2.17 interceptions ranks him in the 93rd percentile.
There may be more opportunities for Man City to sign Scalvini in the future, as a move away from his current club has not been ruled out on a long-term basis, but it is a blow that they seemingly will not be able to sign him in the near future.
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