Gianluca Mancini had no regrets leaving Atalanta and the Champions League for Roma. “It’s a big opportunity that doesn’t come around often.”
The transfer was completed today, technically a €2m loan with obligation to buy for €13m and a further set of bonuses up to €8m.
There is also a 10 per cent sell-on fee that will go to Atalanta.
“I wanted to come here, because Roma is a big club. In the end the negotiations all ended well,” Mancini told Roma TV and asroma.com.
“It’s not a case of leaving Atalanta, it’s more that Roma are a big club and it is difficult to turn down a call from them. I had two important years in Bergamo, we managed to qualify for the Champions League – but Roma is a big opportunity that doesn’t come around often and I wanted to take it now and get started on this new adventure.
“I was impressed by (Paulo Fonseca), it’s not every day that you get a call from a Coach as successful as him. So I can only say that I can’t wait to get started.”
Mancini was the top-scoring defender in Serie A last season with five goals, plus one in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
“When a defender scores, it helps out the team even more – even if my primary job is to help my teammates not to concede them. If you do that first and then can chip in with a few goals as well, that’s great.
“The way I see the game, I think that intensity is an important quality to have – because it enables you to unsettle the opposition and prevent them from having too much time to choose their next move. I think I can suit the style pretty well, especially because in Bergamo that intensity was a big part of how we tried to play.
“I had two years in Bergamo, where I improved in every way: mentally, in the way I focus during games and prepare for them, but also physically and technically. I thank the coach, Mister Gian Piero Gasperini, for all of that.”
The 23-year-old was also given his senior Italy debut by CT Roberto Mancini.
“Last season was definitely a great one for me, in pretty much every way. Every Italian dreams of playing for the national team. I was fortunate enough to be called up, and then to play. To earn the right to be called up again for Italy is a big motivation for me and another reason to want to do well for Roma.
“I just want to tell the fans that I will give everything I have, with complete focus and respect. Every time I go out on the pitch I will work hard for the team and try to make the fans, the club and my teammates proud.”
Image credit: @asromaen Twitter