Josip Ilicic was all set to join AC Milan in the summer but decided to stay at Atalanta where he has returned to being decisive again.
Ilicic scored a brace against Empoli over the weekend including a gorgeous curling effort for his second goal, and after the game Gian Piero Gaserpini praised a player that he has certainly not always seen eye to eye with over the past few months.
“With him in this condition we are stronger, I saw in training that he had good legs and I decided to field him: we must be happy, because he hadn’t played a game with this continuity for a long time,” he said.
Ilicic has not been in top form for months at Atalanta, and Calciomercato.com writes how he asked for a transfer in May at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, and spent the summer preseason camp with a suitcase packed and a move to Milan on his mind.
Then came the change of mind with the market almost closed as the Rossoneri wanted to try and close a deal in the final dew days of the window, so the Slovenia international opted to remain with Milan going for Junior Messias.
Nonetheless, the future of the 33-year-old is far from certain as his contract expires at the end of the season and a renewal seems difficult at the moment. Whether Milan are still ready to pounce though is another issue.