Football Season Guide

Atalanta

In


IN: Marco Sportiello (gk)(Frosinone, end of loan); Luca Valzania (mid)(Frosinone, end of loan); Nicolas Haas (mid)(Palermo, end of loan); Marko Pasalic (mid)(Chelsea, on loan); Luis Ferdinando Muriel (att)(Sevilla); Ruslan Malinovskyi (mid)(Genk); Martin Skrtel (def)(free agent)

Out


Etrit Berisha (sp)(gk)(Spal, on loan): Enrico Delprato (mid)(Livorno, on loan); Boris Radunovic (gk)(Hellas Verona, on loan); Gianluca Mancini (r)(def)(Roma); Dejan Kulusevski (mid)(Parma, on loan); Andrea Colpani (mid)(Trapani, on); Marco Carnesecchi (gk)(Trapani, on loan); Luca Vido (att)(Crotone, on loan); Andreas Cornelius (att)(Parma, on loan); Marco Tumminello (att)(Pescara, on loan); Filippo Melegoni (mid)(Pescara, on loan); Nicolas Haas (mid)(Frosinone, on loan)

Last season undoubtedly was the best one ever for Atalanta, as they finished third in the Serie A, holding the best attack of the league, and achieved an historical qualification to the next Champions League Group stage, while also enjoying a great Coppa Italia run. With the campaign barely over, several clubs came to the management's doors asking for their stars, Zapata and Ilicic above all, and for the architect of their triumphs, Gian Piero Gasperini, but all their offers were immediately rejected. To prove how ambitious they are, they confirmed their key players and extended the deal with the coach, while guaranteeing him a competitive squad for the season ahead. Therefore, they tried strengthening their squad in every department. First of all, they had Pasalic’s loan from Chelsea renewed, as he had performed decently, especially towards the end of the past season. Moreover, they added some needed depth in the attack, acquiring Muriel, who can be unstoppable in his best days but is too discontinuous. They invested plenty of cash also on the talented Malinovsky, who might become a protagonist in the midfield, and a valid cover for Ilicic, whose past campaign was limited by injuries. In order to fund those arrivals, they had to sell the Italian international Mancini, but he was wisely replaced by the expert Skrtel, thus injecting some highly-needed European experience into the defence. Considering how injury-prone Masiello, Palomino and Toloi tend to be, Atalanta need at least one more defender and, possibly, one more attacking midfielder.

Target


Repeating the past campaign might be impossible. Another top 6 finish and bright Champions League and Coppa Italia campaigns seem more likely.

Bologna

In


Mattia Bani (def)(Chievo Verona); Takehiro Tomiyasu (def)(Sint Truiden); Jerdy Schouten (mid)(Excelsior); Stefano Denswil (def)(Club Brugge); Andreas Skov Olsen (att)(Nordsjaelland); Gianmarco Cangiano (att)(Roma)

Out


Felipe Avenatti (att)(Standard Liege); Federico Mattiello (r)(def)(Cagliari, end of loan); Lyanco (r)(def)(Torino, end of loan); Emil Krafth (def)(Amiens); Simone Edera (att)(Torino, end of loan); Antonio Santurro (gk)(Sambenedettese, on loan); Filip Helander (def)(Glasgow Rangers); Adam Nagy (sp)(mid)(Bristol City); Erick Pulgar (r)(mid)(Fiorentina); Luca Rizzo (mid)(Livorno, on loan)

The past campaign was a bizarre one for Bologna as they were first heading towards the bottom with Filippo Inzaghi in charge while they eventually finished in the top 10, with 30 points out of the last 17 games, once Sinisa Mihajlovic took the reins of the team. The Serbian coach was obviously confirmed at the helm but then the shocking news arrived that he is fighting against leukaemia. Nevertheless, he will continue in charge. He will have to deal with a rather renewed squad, though, as the loans of such regulars as Mattiello and Lyanco came to an end, while the likes of Nagy and Pulgar went to pastures new, thus leaving the squad weaker at the back and in the middle of the park. In order to overcome such defensive departures, and last season’s weaknesses, Bologna signed in a few centre-backs: Bani, who had a disastrous season with Chievo Verona, the promising Japanese Tomiyasu and the more experienced Denswil, the latter pair both coming from the Jupiler League. In the middle of the park, they only added Schouten from Excelsior, who lacks the experience needed to be a starter, and so they are still short in this department, considering that they adopt a 4-2-3-1 formation. While they also added an interesting young winger for the attack, Skov Olsen, Bologna certainly made their best moves by turning the loans of Orsolini, Soriano and Sansone into permanent deals.

Target


Bologna aim at another quiet salvation but it will depend on Mihajlovic’s condition, and on the arrival of a valid central midfielder and, possibly, a winger.

Brescia

In


Florian Ayé (att)(Clermont Foot); Jesse Joronen (gk)(FK Copenaghen); Jhon Chancellor (def)(Al Ahli); Jaromir Zmrhal (mid)(Slavia Praha); Mario Balotelli (att)(free agent)

Out


Simone Romagnoli (r)(def)(Empoli, end of loan); Alessandro Martinelli (sp)(mid)(released); Jacopo Dall'Oglio (sp)(mid)(released); Alejandro Rodriguez (att)(Empoli, end of loan); Matteo Cortesi (att)(Giana Erminio); Luca Miracoli (att)(Como); Edoardo Lancini (def)(released)

Having finished the past Serie B campaign at the top of the table, despite a poor beginning which saw coach David Suazo almost immediately replaced by Eugenio Corini, at last Brescia made it back to the top tier of Italian football, 8 years after their last participation. Corini, who returns to Serie A after disastrous experiences at Chievo Verona and Palermo, should go on adopting the 4-3-1-2 formation that worked so well in Serie B. Brescia have not been particularly active in the transfer campaign and they might be waiting for the end of August in order to sign a few new players. In fact, in terms of departures, they lost just 1 regular, Romagnoli, whose loan ended and had to return to his parent club, while they got rid of a few fringe players, who did not have enough experience for the new adventure ahead of them. In order to replace the Empoli centre-back, they signed in Magnani, who had his first taste of Serie A in the past campaign, at Sassuolo, and the Colombian giant Chancellor, who had a short experience in the Russian Premier League. Considering that skipper Gastaldello is 36 and Cistana has never played at this level, they are still on the hunt for a centre-back. For the goal, they signed Joronen from FK Copenhagen and he might be preferred to Alfonso. They are both unknown quantities in Serie A. Zmrhal arrived from Sparta Praha to provide some depth in a midfield which is the best department of the team, with such promising players like Bisoli and, above all, wunderkind Tonali. In the attack, Donnarumma and Torregrossa, who scored 37 goals last season overall, will be joined by newly-arrived Aye. They are all debutants at this level, though.

Target


Brescia are a work-in-progress, they still need experienced players in every department, and are serious candidates for relegation.

Cagliari

In


Simone Pinna (def)(Olbia, end of loan); Daniele Ragatzu (att)(Olbia, end of loan); Federico Mattiello (def)(Atalanta, via Bologna, on loan); Sebastian Walukiewicz (def)(Pogon Szczecin, end of loan); Diego Farias (att)(Empoli, end of loan); Kwang-song Han (att)(Perugia, end of loan); Santiago Colombatto (mid)(Hellas Verona, end of loan); Alessandro Capello (att)(Padova, end of loan); Marko Rog (mid)(Napoli); Radja Nainggolan (mid)(Inter, on loan); Nahitan Nandez (mid)(Boca Juniors)

Out


Doratiotto (a, Olbia, p), Luca Pellegrini (def)(Juventus, via Roma, end of loan); Maxime Leverbe (def)(Chievo Verona, via Sampdoria, end of loan); Cyril Thereau (att)(Fiorentina, end of loan); Darijo Srna (r)(def)(retired); Simone Padoin (sp)(mid)(released); Nicolò Barella (k)(mid)(Inter); Fabrizio Caligara (mid)(Venezia, on loan); Damir Ceter (att)(Chievo Verona, on loan); Diego Farias (att)(Lecce, on loan)

Following 2 anonymous salvations in a row, last season they finished just 3 points above the drop line, ambitious Cagliari management decided that it was high time to make a move towards the top 10 of Serie A. Firstly, they confirmed coach Rolando Maran at the helm, as he has proven capable of getting the best out of his boys. Then, in order to strengthen the squad, they had to let their best talent, Barella, go to Inter for plenty of cash, and to re-invest such money on some quality additions. However, their best signing was made for free. Thanks to the relationship existing between Inter and President Giulini, a stockholder of the nerazzurri, Cagliari obtained the return of Nainggolan on loan. Coming off a forgettable campaign, he is looking for redemption, and he should represent the perfect alternative to Barella himself. The midfield is certainly the department mostly renewed and strengthened by the Sardinians. In fact, Maran will also be able to count on Rog and Nandez, a talent not yet in full bloom, and one that has to prove his skills on the European stage respectively. Last but not least, Castro should be at his best after recovering from 2 serious knee injuries. For the attack, they opted for just one new arrival, having talented Han back from a loan to Perugia. This might represent their main weakness, especially since they had a far-from-prolific attack last season, as they relied almost exclusively on Pavoletti’s headers. At the back, they lost both regular full-backs as Srna retired and Pellegrini returned to his parent club, Roma. Cacciatore will thus be promoted as regular right-back. At left-back, they signed Mattiello but should be able to re-obtain Pellegrini’s services from his new club, Juventus.

Target


Cagliari should obtain a quiet salvation. More could arrive with some new signing in the attack and a tighter defence compared to last season.

Fiorentina

In


Bartolomiej Dragowski (gk)(Empoli, end of loan); Aleksa Terzic (def)(Red Star Beograd); Cyril Thereau (att)(Cagliari, end of loan); Lorenzo Venuti (def)(Lecce, end of loan); Kevin-Prince Boateng (att)(Barcellona); Pol Lirola (def)(Sassuolo); Milan Badelj (mid)(Lazio, on loan); Gaetano Castrovilli (mid)(Cremonese, end of loan); Erick Pulgar (mid)(Bologna); Pietro Terracciano (gk)(Empoli); Jacob Rasmussen (def)(Empoli); Szymon Zurkowski (mid)(Gornik Zabrze); Riccardo Sottil (att)(Pescara, end of loan)

Out


Albin Lafont (r)(gk)(Nantes, on loan); Christian Norgaard (mid)(Brentford); Rafik Zekhnini (att)(FC Twente, on loan); Vincent Laurini (sp)(def)(Parma); Jordan Veretout (k)(mid)(Roma); Vitor Hugo (r)(def)(Palmeiras); David Hancko (def)(Sparta Praha, on loan); Riccardo Saponara (att)(Genoa, on loan); Gerson (r)(mid)(Roma, end of loan); Edimilson Fernandes (r)(mid)(West Ham United, end of loan); Luis Muriel (r)(att)(Sevilla, end of loan); Marko Pjaca (r)(att)(Juventus, end of loan)

The summer 2019 will be remembered by Fiorentina supporters as one of big changes. In fact, they saw the departure of the Della Valle family after 15 years in command. They sold the club to an Italian-American entrepreneur Rocco Commisso, who promised a return among the top teams. Even though his return to Fiorentina at the end of the past campaign was far from impressive, they obtained just 2 draws in 7 games, Vincenzo Montella was confirmed at the helm. He will have to deal with a completely different squad, though. No less than 7 starters have left, being sold or having their loans from other clubs come to an end. While the likes of Lafont, Pjaca, Vitor Hugo and Gerson will not be missed, Veretout and Muriel were among the few who did well in the past campaign, together with Chiesa. While retaining the Italian international was by far the best move they could make, Fiorentina management rejuvenated the squad, while also injecting some experience into it. So, the young Dragowski, returning from a loan to Empoli, should be given a start in goal, while the promising Lirola and Rasmussen should be acting at right-back and centre-back respectively. Experience was added to the midfield where Badelj, back after a forgettable stint at Lazio, and Pulgar, who made his name at Bologna, will fill the holes left by the departed Veretout and Edimilson. Boateng is the sole new offensive player they have hired thus far, and this might be a problem, if Simeone fails to deliver as he did most of last season. Not too surprisingly, Fiorentina are still looking for depth in the midfield and for another forward.

Target


Fiorentina aim at a place in the top 10 but they still seem to be lacking something, and might have to content themselves with a quiet salvation.

Genoa

In


Cristian Zapata (def)(Milan); Pawel Jaroszynski (def)(Chievo Verona); Antonio Barreca (def)(Monaco, on loan); Andrea Pinamonti (att)(Inter, on loan); Nicholas Rizzo (def)(Inter); Filip Jagiello (mid)(Zaglebie Lubin); Sinan Gumus (att)(Galatasaray); Francesco Cassata (mid)(Sassuolo, on loan); Cristian Romero (def)(Juve, on loan); Lasse Schone (mid)(Ajax); Riccardo Saponara (mid)(Fiorentina, on loan); Kevin Agudelo (mid)(Atletico Huilia); Marko Pajac (def)(Cagliari); Romulo (mid)(Lazio, end of loan)

Out


Cristian Romero (k)(def)(Juventus); Koray Gunter (sp)(def)(Hellas Verona, on loan); Gianluca Lapadula (att)(Lecce, on loan); Miguel Veloso (r)(mid)(released); Nicola Dalmonte (att)(Lugano, on loan); Stephane Omeonga (mid)(Cercle Brugge, on loan); Russo (gk)(Sassuolo); Erwin Zukanovic (sp)(def)(Al-Hali, on loan); Pawel Jaroszynski (def)(Salernitana, on loan); Luca Rossettini (sp)(def)(Lecce); Giuseppe Pezzella (sp)(def)(Udinese, end of loan); Pedro Pereira (def)(Benfica, end of loan); Daniel Bessa (r)(mid)(Hellas Verona, end of loan); Darko Lazovic (r)(mid)(Hellas Verona, on loan)

The past campaign was a troublesome one for Genoa, as they only managed to achieve safety in the very last week, on goal difference with relegated Empoli. Davide Ballardini had actually started very well, 12 points in 7 games, but he was mysteriously replaced by a disastrous Ivan Juric and, eventually, Cesare Prandelli, who brought home just 4 wins out of 24 games.. Not too surprisingly, volcanic President Preziosi opted for the umpteenth overhaul over the summer, giving the reins to Aurelio Andreazzoli, a seasoned coach who had worked as tactician with Spalletti for a long time, whose most recent Serie A experience was relegation with Empoli last May. Genoa squad needed to be trimmed and several players were subsequently let go. Among them, Veloso, Rossettini, Zukanovic, Bessa and Lazovic, who were all starters at some point, but also Lapadula or Pereira, who had run out of favour with the coaches. In fact, they also sold to Juventus the best defender of the past campaign, Romero, but they managed to sign the young talent back on loan. And that might be their best signing too. They added to the defence an experienced and valid centre-back in Zapata, while they strengthened the flanks considerable with Romulo, returning from a short stint at Lazio, and Barreca, on loan from Monaco. Schone should be an interesting defending midfielder, while Cassata should also be given a relevant role in the middle of the park. The attack was their weakest department last season: Saponara, a talented player who has failed to repeat the wonders displayed in his early years at Empoli, and Pinamonti, on loan from Inter after being relegated with Frosinone, should be the new protagonists, together with Kouame, a skilled but inconsistent forward.

Target


Genoa should be achieving a quiet salvation if President Preziosi does not interfere with Andreazzoli’s work and if they manage to acquire a prolific striker and another couple of players for the midfield.

Hellas Verona

In


Amir Rrahmani (def)(Dinamo Zagreb); Daniel Bessa (mid)(Genoa, end of loan); Simone Calvano (mid)(Padova, end of loan); Karamoko Cissé (att)(Carpi, end of loan); Salvatore Bocchetti (def)(free agent); Koray Gunter (def)(Genoa, on loan); Miguel Veloso (mid)(free agent); Bo-ris Radunovic (gk)(Cremonese, via Atalanta on loan); Emmanuel Badu (mid)(Udinese, on loan); Va-lerio Verre (mid)(Perugia, on loan); Darko Lazovic (mid)(Genoa); Gennaro Tutino (att)(Napoli, on loan)

Out


Samuel Gustafson (r)(mid)(Torino, end of loan); Santiago Colombatto (sp)(mid)(Cagliari, end of loan); Ryder Matos (r)(att)(Udinese, end of loan); Karim Laribi (r)(att)(Empoli, on loan); Enri-co Bearzotti (mid)(Modena); Jure Balkovec (sp)(def)(Empoli, on loan); Matteo Bianchetti (sp)(def)(released)

Hellas Verona return to the top flight of Italian football just one year after falling to Serie B. They were expected to dominate the league but only achieved promotion at the very end after two dramatic legs against Cittadella in the playoff finals. Coach Alfredo Aglietti, who led them in the final and decisive 7 games of the campaign, was not confirmed at the helm, as the management preferred to hire Ivan Juric. The latter did well with Crotone in Serie B but his 3 stints at Genoa in Serie A all ended with unavoidable sackings. Relying on a rather limited budget, Hellas Verona had to count on several loanees for their past campaign and a few of them have had to quit: the regulars Gustafson, Matos and Laribi above all, while they managed to renew some others’ deals or turn them into permanent ones. This was certainly the case for Di Carmine, Dawidowicz, Di Gaudio and Marrone. In terms of new signings, they obtained some new players on loan, while also hiring some free agents. So, for the goal they picked an alternative to Silvestri in Radunovic. For the defence, they signed Bocchetti, whose Russian adventure has come to an end, Rrahmani from Dinamo Zagreb and Gun-ter, who had little opportunity to shine at Genoa. They could all make the starting eleven. In the midfield, they had Bessa’s return, while also signing a few players in need of redemption, Ve-loso, Badu and Lazovic, while Verre did well in Serie B but still has to impose himself at the top level. For the attack, the experienced Pazzini, who has a love-hate relationship with the club, will be joined by the talented Tutino. Hellas Verona are still a work in progress and they need to sign both defenders and midfielders with some experience in Serie A.

Target


They are a main candidate for relegation due to poor quality of the squad and Juric might not be the right man in the right place.

Internazionale

In


Diego Godin (def)(free agent); Stefano Sensi (mid)(Sassuolo); Alessandro Bastoni (def)(Parma, end of loan); Federico Dimarco (def)(Parma, end of loan); Lucien Agoumé (mid)(Sochaux); Valenti-no Lazaro (mid)(Hertha); Nicolò Barella (mid)(Cagliari); Samuele Longo (att)(Cremonese, end of loan); Romelu Lukaku (att)(Manchester United)

Out


Cedric Soares (def)(Southampton, end of loan); Sime Vrsaljko (def)(Atletico Madrid, end of loan); Keita Balde Diao (sp)(att)(Monaco, end of loan); Andrea Adorante (att)(Parma); Nicho-las Rizzo (def)(Genoa); Yann Karamoh (att)(Parma, on loan); Miranda (r)(def)(released); Rad-ja Nainggolan (k)(mid)(Cagliari, on loan); Ivan Perisic (k)(mid)(Bayern Munich, on loan); Andrea Pinamonti (att)(Genoa, on loan); Facundo Colidio (att)(Sint-Truiden, on loan)

The past 8 seasons have been far from impressive from Inter, as they never managed to drag themselves up to the top 3 of Serie A. Not even Luciano Spalletti managed to lead them closer to the Scudetto contenders. Having finished 4th, overtaken also by a surprising Atalanta, Inter decided that it was high time for a big change. Thanks to their new sports director, Marotta, they opted for some wise spending and for hiring a capable coach. Antonio Conte returns to Serie A 5 years after his triumphs with Juventus, and he will be expected to repeat yhr feats with the Old Lady’s arch-enemies. First of all, Inter got rid of plenty of those players who had been highly disappointing last season. This was the case for Vrsaljko, who hardly ever saw the pitch due to injury, Keita, Cedric and Nainggolan, who should have been their leader but totally failed to meet expectations. Moreover, they also let Miranda, a regular at the back, and Perisic, one of their stars, go. And Icardi, whose relationship with the club has gone sour, could follow suit. For the defence, in came the highly reliable Godin, who is injured at the moment, but also the promising Bastoni, who did well on loan at Parma. The midfield was the department that was most renewed with the arrival of two Italian talents, the young Barella, who will provide muscle and class after a couple of outstanding seasons at Cagliari, Sensi, who impressed at Sassuolo, and Lazaro, who could act in all the roles on the right. For the attack, they made the most expensive purchase in their history, spending 80 million Euros for Lukaku, who is a very physical forward, strong on the high balls, also famous for missing too many goals. Inter are still on the hunt for a forward, Dzeko is their dream, and a playmaker for the midfield.

Target


Inter should be fighting for the Scudetto, as they have chosen the right coach and have invested in some capable players, but they might not have enough depth in the squad yet.

Juventus

In


IN: Aaron Ramsey (mid)(free agent); Luca Pellegrini (def)(Cagliari); Gonzalo Higuain (att)(Chelsea, end of loan); Marko Pjaca (att)(Fiorentina, end of loan); Adrien Rabiot (mid)(free agent); Gianluigi Buffon (gk)(free agent); Mehdi Demiral (def)(Sassuolo); Matthijs De Ligt (def)(Ajax); Danilo (def)(Manchester City)

Out


Leonardo Spinazzola (sp)(def)(Roma); Rogerio (def)(Sassuolo); Cristian Romero (def)(Genoa, on loan); Joao Cancelo (r)(def)(Manchester City); Moise Kean (sp)(att)(Everton); Andrea Barzagli (def)(retired); Martin Caceres (def)(Lazio, end of loan)

Having dominated Italian football for the past 8 seasons, this time around Juventus might have lost some of their confidence, thus unwittingly reducing the gap existing between themselves and the other title contenders. With Paratici as the new sports director, they first parted ways with Massimo Allegri, the architect of their last 5 triumphal campaigns, but guilty for not winning the Champions League. Instead they signed Maurizio Sarri, their arch-enemy when he was at Napoli, whose experience at Chelsea was only partly successful and whose attitude might not be apt for the Old Lady. In terms of players, they immediately hired 3 free agents in Ramsey and Rabiot, who did not play much last season, and the returning Buffon, who agreed to act as Szczesny’s reserve. Then, they strengthened the defence, adding Demiral, who had a great season in Sassuolo, and De Ligt, who had impressed them in the Champions League while at Ajax. Last but not least, they added a much-needed right-back, trading in Danilo from Manchester City for Joao Cancelo, who did not leave a great mark in Turin. In terms of departures, they also let Spinazzola go, acquiring Luca Pellegrini from Roma, a talented left-back who will be loaned out, and wunderkind Kean, for whom there was no place given all the players they have in the attack. Now, ahead of the start of the campaign, Juventus have several players they absolutely need to get rid of, among them Can, Matuidi, Higuain Mandzukic and, perhaps, Dybala, while they failed to sign Icardi from Inter or Chiesa from Fiorentina, their summer dreams. Moreover, their preseason was far from spectacular both in terms of play and results, confirming that some summer decisions might not have been the right ones.

Target


Juventus are still the best in Italy but things will not be that easy with Inter being closer. If Sarri manages to give the team a play and soul, while keeping the squad together, they might even have a much-dreamed-of great run in the Champions League.

Lazio

In


Bobby Adekanye (att)(free agent); Manuel Lazzari (mid)(Spal); Joseph Minala (mid)(Salernitana, end of loan); Djavan Anderson (def)(Salernitana, end of loan); Andre Anderson (def)(Salernitana, end of loan); Ricardo Kishna (att)(ADO Den Haag, end of loan); Denis Vavro (def)(FK Copenha-gen), Jony (mid)(Malaga); Cipriano (def)(Santos); Tiago Casasola (def)(Salernitana, end of loan)

Out


Romulo (sp)(def)(Genoa, end of loan); Dusan Basta (def)(released); Martin Caceres (def)(released); Mohamed Abukar (mid)(Karpaty, on loan); Luca Germoni (def)(Juve Stabia); Giorgio Spizzichino (def)(Pro Patria); Marius Adamonis (gk)(Catanzaro, on loan); Pedro Neto (att)(Wolverhampton); Bruno Jordao (mid)(Wolverhampton); Milan Badelj (sp)(mid)(Fiorentina, on loan); Mama-dou Tounkara (att)(Viterbese); Alessandro Rossi (att)(Juve Stabia)

The past season was a strange one for Lazio as they underperformed in the league, finishing 8th, but managed to achieve European football through a triumphal Coppa Italia campaign. Coach Inzaghi was naturally confirmed at the helm of the team but there was plenty of mystery about the kind of transfer campaign President Lotito would be making. In fact, Lazio stars, Milinkovic-Savic, Luis Alberto and Correa all seemed likely to become the object of other clubs’ interest. This was certainly the case for the former but the excessive amount of money asked by Lotito must have scared off any possible purchaser. Therefore, Inzaghi has not lost any relevant players thus far. They got rid of some deadwood, like Basta and Caceres, while Badelj was sent back to Fiorentina after a forgettable season with the Eagles. Romulo was perhaps the most remarkable player to depart, as he had done well on the right flank. However, it became clear why he had been let go once they signed Lazzari. The former SPAL player should definitely become a protagonist, considering how bad Marusic and Patric were when acting there. Last season Lazio were particularly vulnerable at the back as the coach kept rotating the players next to the essential Acerbi. For that reason, Vavro arrived from Copenhagen, and he is expected to be given a starting role. Lazio's transfer campaign really depends on what will happen to Milinkovic-Savic. If he goes, they will have the funds to acquire at least one player per department. Otherwise, they will look somewhat better than last season but will lack the needed depth in the squad.

Target


Lazio will achieve a top 7 finish but do not seem capable of contending for the top 4.

Lecce

In


Brayan Vera Ramirez (def)(Leones); Yevhen Shakhov (mid)(free agent); Romario Benzar (def)(Steaua Bucarest); Gabriel Vasconcelos (gk)(free agent); Gianluca Lapadula (att)(Genoa, on loan); Luca Rossettini (def)(Chievo Verona, on loan); Simone Lo Faso (att)(free agent); Anto-nino Gallo (def)(free agent); Cristian Dell'Orco (def)(Sassuolo, on loan); Diego Farias (att)(Cagliari, on loan); Andrea Rispoli (def)(free agent)

Out


Simone Palombi (r)(att)(Lazio, end of loan); Lorenzo Venuti (r)(def)(Fiorentina, end of loan); Ma-nuel Scavone (sp)(mid)(Bari, end of loan); Antonio Marino (sp)(def)(Venezia); Cesare Bovo (sp)(def)(retired)

8 years after their last participation in Serie A ended with relegation first, and a subsequent fall to the third tier of Italian football due to match-fixing, Lecce return to the top flight, having been promoted as second from the past Serie B campaign. Just 1 point off Brescia, the winners. Fabio Liverani is the man responsible for dragging Lecce from Lega Pro all the way up to Serie A in just 2 years. He was consequently confirmed at the helm for the new season. The former Lazio midfielder had already had a taste of Serie A as a coach in 2013, when he led Genoa for a couple of months. He was sacked after 6 games, having managed just 1 win and 1 draw. During the transfer campaign, Lecce did not lose many of the protagonists of their promotion campaign. In fact, only Palombi, one of their best goal scorers, and Venuti, a right-back, had to return to their parent clubs. In order to be competitive at the top level, the management mostly looked for experienced players, while also adding a couple of younger talents. Gabriel has been touring around the peninsula for the past 8 seasons but he has not played many games in Serie A: nevertheless, he should be given a starting role between the sticks. The defence was strengthened by the arrival of two full-backs, Rispoli and Dell’Orco, and a centre-back, Rossettini, all players who are well known in Serie A. Not much was done for the midfield, where the newly-arrived Shakhov, an unknown quantity at this level, could join Tachtsidis and Petriccione in a 4-3-1-2 formation. For the attack, Lecce hired Lapadula, who has had few opportunities for playing at Genoa, and Farias, who ended up his stint at Empoli with relegation.

Target


Lecce are candidates for relegation as they have an inexperienced coach for this level and an incomplete squad, still in need of a forward and a new midfielder.

Milan

In


Rade Krunic (mid)(Empoli); Theo Hernandez (def)(Real Madrid); Andre Silva (att)(Sevilla, end of loan); Ismael Bennacer (mid)(Empoli); Rafa Leao (att)(Lille); Leo Duarte (def)(Flamengo); Matteo Gabbia (def)(Lucchese, end of loan)

Out


Riccardo Montolivo (mid)(released); Ignazio Abate (sp)(def)(released); Andrea, Bertolacci (mid)(released); Jose Mauri (mid)(released); Tiemoue Bakayoko (r)(mid)(Chelsea, end of loan); Gustavo Gomez (def)(Palmeiras); Stefan Simic (def)(Hajduk Split); Cristian Zapata (r)(def)(released); Patrick Cutrone (att)(Wolverhampton); Alessandro Plizzari (gk)(Livorno, on loan)

Milan finished the past campaign on the 5th rung of Serie A, just 1 point off the top 4, but they saw their qualification to the Europa League cancelled due to violation of the UEFA financial fair play. The gritty Gennaro Gattuso was let go as the new management opted for a coach who goes for a more entertaining kind of football. So, Marco Giampaolo arrived after 3 seasons at Sampdoria. While he certainly offers spectacular play, mostly adopting a 4-3-1-2 formation, Giampaolo has never led a team higher than the 9th standing, as his sides usually enjoy a dip of form in the spring-time after strong starts to the season. The Milan squad was one filled with too much deadwood and it was wisely trimmed over the summer. So, the likes of Montolivo, Mauri and Bertolacci were all let go, after mostly failing to play last season, while veterans like Zapata and Abate were given the chance to look for their last deals elsewhere. Cutrone was the sole relevant player to be sold: he did not have many chances to play, while Bakayoko’s loan was not renewed despite his good performances. In terms of new signings, Milan opted for a rejuvenation of the squad and picked up all players younger than 25. For the defence, they hired a centre-back in Duarte, who has no European experience, and Theo Hernandez, from Real Madrid, as left-back. From Empoli, Krunic and Bennacer should provide creativity and muscle for the midfield while Rafa Leao, who did well in France at Lille, should support Piatek up-front. Donnarumma was confirmed between the sticks but he is still wanted by some big European clubs: his departure would leave them in big trouble if not properly replaced. Moreover, they also need more depth up-front.

Target


Milan should be fighting for a place in the top 4 but it will mostly depend on Giampaolo’s competence in this first experience with a top team.

Napoli

In


Giovanni Di Lorenzo (def)(Empoli); Kostas Manolas (def)(Roma); Lorenzo Tonelli (def)(Sampdoria, end of loan); Eljif Elmas (mid)(Fenerbahce)

Out


Amadou Diawara (sp)(mid)(Roma); Raul Albiol (r)(def)(Villarreal); Vinicius (att)(Benfica); Marko Rog (mid)(Cagliari)

When Napoli hired Carlo Ancelotti, last season, they hoped he would have helped them to reduce the gap existing between themselves and Juventus. Unfortunately for them, they finished second but they never really managed to pose a serious threat to the Old Lady’s reign. The coach was obviously confirmed at the helm for the new season and he will be expected to lead them closer to the top, especially considering that Juventus are currently facing some problems. First of all, they lost Albiol over the summer. The Spaniard has been one of the two pillars in the heart of the defence for the past 6 seasons. He was very properly replaced by Manolas, coming from Roma. In fact, the solid Greek might even be an improvement at centre-back, alongside Koulibaly. Napoli had an abundance of full-backs, although not all of them were given relevant playing time to tell the truth, but the management opted to sign also Di Lorenzo, who did well at Empoli. He might be given a start at right-back with Ghoulam, fully recovered from injury, being preferred at left-back. Napoli also let Diawara go to Roma. After all, he had not been given many opportunities to shine last season. At the same time, though, they signed in the promising 19-year-old Elmas, from Fenerbahce, who is going to add some depth to the midfield. For the attack, they are about to invest lots of money in the impressive Lozano, a winger who has been impressing at PSV. And he might become one of the supporters’ favourites. However, they are still looking for a centre-forward.

Target


Napoli will be fighting for the Scudetto but, at the moment, they seem to be one step lower than Juventus and Inter.

Parma

In


Andrea Adorante (att)(Inter); Hernani (mid)(Zenit); Alessandro Martella (def)(Pescara); Fabi-an Pavone (att)(Pescara); Vincent Laurini (def)(Fiorentina); Simone Colombi (gk)(Carpi); Yann Karamoh (att)(Inter, on loan); Kastriot Dermaku (def)(free agent); Dejan Kulusevski (nud)(Atalanta, on loan); Andreas Cornelius (att)(Atalanta, on loan); Fabrizio Alastra (gk)(free agent); Gaston Brugman (mid)(Pescara)

Out


Brazao (gk)(Inter, end of loan); Alessandro Bastoni (r)(def)(Inter, end of loan); Federico Dimarco (sp)(def)(Inter, end of loan); Francisco Sierralta (def)(Udinese, end of loan); Nicolas Schiappacasse (att)(Atletico Madrid, end of loan); Jacopo Dezi (mid)(Empoli, on loan); Leo Stulac (r)(mid)(Empoli); Massimo Gobbi (sp)(def)(retired); Jonathan Biabiany (r)(att)(released)

For some part of the past campaign, Parma were among the main surprises of the season. After all, despite being just promoted and being filled with inexperience, they played an entertaining football and even flirted with the top 10. A subsequent dip of form, due to injuries to key players, saw them falling down the table but their salvation was never really at risk. Roberto D’Aversa, the man who brought Parma all the way up to Serie A from Lega Pro in just 2 campaigns, was confirmed at the helm for the new season. He will have to deal with a somewhat changed squad since a few players have left, after their loans had ended. This was certainly the case with Bastoni, who managed to impose himself in the heart of the defence, or Dimarco, who had an uneven campaign at left-back. Also at the back, Gobbi hung up his boots after a season filled with injuries. The midfield lost Stulac, who left for pastures new after starting well but eventually disappearing from the radar following injuries, while the attack will not see Biabiany anymore, as he was set free after a poor campaign. More players have left but they hardly ever saw the pitch. They signed in Laurini from Fiorentina and he is expected to act at right-back. With Gagliolo moving to left-back for good, they should shift Iacoponi to centre-back alongside Bruno Alves, who is not getting any younger. So, it is curious that they have signed no new centre-backs or left-back. Hernani, arrived from Zenit, and Brugman, from Pescara, should earn themselves starting places in the middle of the park while the winger Karamoh, on loan from Inter, should be making the forward three. Interesting additions are also Kulusevski for the midfield and Cornelius for the attack: they are both on loan from Atalanta. However, their best summer move was having Inglese stay at Parma for good.

Target


Parma should be able to avoid relegation once again but a push for more seems unlikely.

Roma

In


Leonardo Spinazzola (def)(Juventus); Grégoire Defrel (att)(Sampdoria, end of loan); Max-ime Gonalons (mid)(Sevlla, end of loan); Gerson (mid)(Fiorentina, end of loan); Amadou Diawara (mid)(Napoli); Pau Lopez (gk)(Betis); Gianluca Mancini (def)(Atalanta); Jordan Veretout (mid)(Fiorentina)

Out


Daniele De Rossi (r)(mid)(released); Ezequiel Ponce (att)(Spartak Moscow); Andrea Romagnoli (gk)(Spartak Moscow); Kostas Manolas (k)(def)(Napoli); Stephan El Shaarawy (r)(att)(Shanghai Shenhua); Luca Pellegrini (def)(Juventus); Ivan Marcano (def)(Porto); Celar (att)(Cittadella, on loan); Gerson (mid)(Flamengo); Daniele Verde (att)(Aek Athens); Cangiano (att)(Bologna); Rick Karsdorp (sp)(def)(Feyenoord, on loan)

Roma failed to make the top 4 of Italian football in the past campaign. After a mixed start to the season with Eusebio Di Francesco in charge, they hired Claudio Ranieri, who led them to qualification for the next Europa League but little else. The “Tinkerman” was let go almost immediately and the management went looking for a replacement. Having failed to hire any of the big names, Conte or Gasperini, they ended up acquiring the services of Paulo Fonseca, who did great things in Paços de Ferreira and Shakhtar Donetsk. The new coach, who has no other experience outside Portugal and Ukraine, is expected to adopt a 4-2-3-1 formation. He will have to deal with a squad that has been somewhat renewed. In fact, Roma let go at least 4 regulars plus several players who had had no chance to shine or prove their skills. After getting rid of Totti, both as a player and a manger, the management also let go captain Future, De Rossi. Then they sold some players for relevant sums: this was certainly the case with El Shaarawy and Manolas. Marcano and Karsdorp were let go having failed to impress after their arrivals. Not considering that they might also have to look for a new striker, if they part ways with Dzeko, who blessed them with the usual amount of goals and assists, Roma invested mainly in 2 departments, defence and midfield. Pau Lopez should be the new goalkeeper, with Olsen falling back to the bench. Spinazzola and Mancini, two Italian internationals, are both set for a start at the back. Diawara and Veretout should provide muscle and quality in the middle of the park.

Target


Roma aim at a place in the top 7. It will depend a lot on how well Fonseca gets used to Italian football and on whether Dzeko remains with the club or departs.

Sampdoria

In


Julian Chabot (def)(FC Groningen); Gonzalo Maroni (att)(Boca Juniors, on loan); Morten Thorsby (mid)(free agent); Fabio Depaoli (def)(Chievo Verona); Tommaso Augello (def)(Spezia); Jeison Murillo (def)(Valencia); Federico Bonazzoli (att)(Padova, end of loan); Vasco Regini (def)(Spal, end of loan); Leonardo Capezzi (mid)(Empoli, end of loan); Mehdi Leris (mid)(Chievo Verona)

Out


Joachim Andersen (r)(def)(Olympique Lyonnais); Vid Belec (gk)(Apoel Nicosia, on loan); Dawid Kownacki (att)(Fortuna Dusseldorf, on loan); David Ivan (mid)(Chievo Verona); Maxime Leverbe (def)(Chievo Verona); Andrea Tozzo (gk)(Ternana); Cristian Hadziosmanovic (def)(Monopoli, on loan); Junior Tavares (def)(Sao Paulo, end of loan); Rafael (gk)(released); Dennis Praet (r)(mid)(Leicester); Riccardo Saponara (sp)(mid)(Genoa, via Fiorentina, end of loan); Lourenco Simic (def)(Rijeka, on loan); Lorenzo Tonelli (sp)(def)(Napoli, end of loan); Grégoire Defrel (r)(att)(Roma, end of loan)

Sampdoria begin life without coach Giampaolo after 3 seasons filled with peaks and disappointments. They always managed to play decent football, scoring plenty of goals, and were always difficult to beat at home, but regularly stopped playing towards the end of the campaign. Not too surprisingly, they always ended up mid-table and never really were in contention for European football. Eusebio Di Francesco, who did wonders at Sassuolo but could not finish the job started at Roma having been sacked, is the new man at the helm, and he seems a right choice as his football is pretty similar to his predecessor’s, although he prefers a 4-3-3 formation to the 4-3-1-2 Sampdoria got used to. During the summer, Sampdoria lost 2 main performers from the past season: both Andersen and Praet were sold for good money, thus leaving two holes in the squad. In order to replace the Danish defender, they acquired on loan Murillo, who is back in Serie A after an unmemorable experience in Spain, while the young German Chabot could represent a promising back-up for the Colombian and Colley. After an anonymous campaign, Jankto should step up in the starting eleven and take Praet’s place in the hearts of the supporters, while Thorsby should earn some playing time in due course. Having no further need for an attacking midfielder, Sampdoria let Saponara go, while Ramirez might be on the departure list. The 20-year-old Maroni, on loan from Boca, could become a protagonist as a winger. Depaoli could also represent a wise signing, as full-backs had injury issues in the past campaign. Sampdoria do lack some depth especially in the attack, which lost Defrel, who scored 11 goals, and where Quagliarella is 36 and cannot be expected to provide another record performance as in the past 2 seasons.

Target


A mid-table finish seems likely for Sampdoria.

Sassuolo

In


Francesco Caputo (att)(Empoli); Marco Sala (def)(Arezzo); Marco Pinato (mid)(Venezia, end of loan); Luca Mazzitelli (mid)(Genoa, end of loan); Hamed Junior Traoré (mid)(Juventus via Empoli, on loan); Jeremy Toljan (def)(Celtic, on loan); Andreaw Gravillon (def)(Inter, on loan); Pedro Obiang (mid)(West Ham United); Edoardo Goldaniga (def)(Frosinone, end of loan)

Out


Stefano Sensi (r)(mid)(Inter); Francesco Cassata (mid)(Genoa); Jens Odgard (att)(SC Heereveen, on loan); Mauricio Lemos (sp)(def)(Las Palmas, end of loan); Merih Demiral (r)(def)(Juventus); Gianluca Scamacca (att)(Ascoli, on loan); Federico Di Francesco (mid)(Spal, on loan); Kevin-Prince Boateng (att)(Fiorentina); Pol Lirola (r)(def)(Fiorentina, on loan); Marco Sala (def)(Virtus Entella, on loan); Giangiacomo Magnani (sp)(def)(Brescia, on loan); Cristian Dell’Orco (sp)(def)(Lecce, on loan); Nicolas Pierini (a, Cosenza, on loan)

Even though they eventually finished just below the top 10 of Serie A, last season Sassuolo found themselves unexpectedly close to the European spots during the winter and flirting with relegation during the spring. Coach De Zerbi, whose previous top flight experiences had been disastrous, was praised for the job done with the players he had, and was confirmed for the new season. During the summer, Sassuolo had to part ways with at least 3 main protagonists from the past campaign. In fact, Demiral was paid plenty of money by Juventus, while Lirola and Sensi left on loan for Fiorentina and Inter respectively. The defence was the department mostly affected by the transfer campaign as also back-up players Magnani, Dell’Orco and Lemos were let go. While Toljan, on loan from Celtic, should become the new right-back, De Zerbi should field the other 3 regulars from the past season. He will have to hope that they do not run into injuries or suspensions, though, as he might not have valid alternatives. With Sensi gone, Traore, who had a fantastic season at Empoli, and Obiang, who is back to Italy after 4 campaigns at West Ham, are likely to get the start in the middle of the park. And the midfield, also considering the back-up players, should be their best department, without doubt. While their goals tally was relatively healthy last season, Sassuolo's attack was a bit of an issue as they lacked a prolific striker. They addressed the problem during the summer and brought in Caputo from Empoli, who at 31 was almost a debutant in the top flight, but left a mark with his 16 goals.

Target


Sassuolo will aim for a mid-table finish, hoping to keep away from the struggle for salvation.

SPAL

In


Igor (def)(Red Bull Salzburg); Gabriele Moncini (att)(Cittadella, end of loan); Bartosz Salamon (def)(Frosinone, end of loan); Federico Viviani (mid)(Frosinone, end of loan); Etrit Berisha (gk)(Atalanta, on loan); Marco D'Alessandro (mid)(Atalanta via Udinese, on loan); Federico Di Francesco (att)(Sassuolo, on loan)

Out


Manuel Lazzari (k)(mid)(Lazio); Kevin Bonifazi (sp)(def)(Torino, end of loan); Everton Luiz (mid)(Real Salt Lake); Emanuele Viviano (r)(gk)(Sporting Lisbon, end of loan); Vasco Regini (sp)(def)(Sampdoria, end of loan); Andrea Fulignati (gk)(Ascoli, end of loan); Mirco Antenucci (r)(att)(Bari); Filippo Costa (sp)(def)(Bari via Napoli); Pasquale Schiattarella (sp)(mid)(released)

For their second season in Serie A after a 50-year-absence, SPAL managed to achieve quiet safety again, hardly ever being involved in the struggle for survival. However, with 18 defeats, they were the most-losing side outside the bottom three. Coach Leonardo Semplici, who brought them all the way up to the top flight of Italian football from the Lega Pro, will be in charge for the 6th year in a row. This makes him the longest serving man in charge of the same side in the current Serie A. Over the summer, SPAL lost their best man by far. In fact, Lazzari was sold to Lazio for some precious cash. This was basically unavoidable, considering that the Ferrara side hold one of the lowest budgets in the league. Besides Lazzari, Viviano had to travel back to Sporting Lisbon, Regini to Sampdoria and Bonifazi to Torino, their parent clubs, while Antenucci, at 35, opted for a move to the third tier. Schiattarella and Costa, who did not play much last season, also left for good. The newly-arrived Berisha will thus become the protagonist between the posts, even though last season at Atalanta, at one stage he disappeared from the radar due to some under-performing. Igor, from the Austrian Bundesliga, will be contending for a place in the back three together with the well-seasoned Felipe and Vicari. D’Alessandro and Di Francesco, both arriving on loan, will be asked to act on the right flanks. The former, in particular, will have to make supporters forget Lazzari. With Antenucci gone, though, and Floccari one year older, they seem to be lacking some depth in the attack.

Target


SPAL will be fighting for survival, especially since they might have trouble scoring goals if anything happens to Petagna.

Torino

In


Lyanco (def)(Bologna, end of loan); Simone Edera (att)(Bologna end of loan); Kevin Bonifazi (def)(SPAL, end of loan)

Out


Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (gk)(Standard Liegi, on loan); Adem Ljajic (att)(Besiktas); Mbaye Niang (att)(Stade Rennais); Danilo Avelar (def)(Corinthians); Vitalie Damascan (att)(Fortuna Sittard, on loan); Federico Moretti (r)(def)(retired)

The past season was a strange one for Torino as they finished 7th, just 3 points off the European spots, but eventually managed to play the Europa League qualifying rounds following Milan’s ban due to violation of the UEFA financial fair play. They had been far from spectacular during the whole campaign but 15 draws, a record, 37 goals conceded and 7 defeats, only the final Champions, Juventus, did better, stand to prove how solid and hard-to-defeat they were. Looking at their transfer campaign, one might be surprised as they look almost inactive. In fact, in terms of departures, they loaned out a couple of youngsters, Milinkovic-Savic and Damascan, while Moretti retired. The former Juventus defender should be easily replaced by either Bonifazi or Lyanco, who are back after performing well at SPAL and Bologna respectively. Another player has returned from a stint in Bologna, Edera, and he is expected to provide some depth on the wings. However, to be fair, Torino invested plenty of money in turning some loans they had obtained in the past campaign into permanent deals. This is the case of Djidji, Aina, Ansaldi and Zaza, all players who, with exception of the forward, well deserved starting places. It also has to be considered that Torino had their campaign starting earlier than any other Serie A side due to their European commitments, and having reached the Europa League playoffs, they might be waiting for the last week of the transfer window in order to further strengthen the squad or maintain things unaltered. The clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers could thus determine any further investments. An attacking midfielder, or winger, and a valid alternative to Sirigu between the sticks would be needed.

Target


Torino aim for a place in the top 7 but having to cope with a tiring European campaign, if they reach the Group stage, might take a heavy toll if they end up not signing any more players.

Udinese

In


Mato Jajalo (mid)(free agent); Rodrigo Becao (def)(Bahia); Ryder Matos (att)(Hellas Verona, end of loan); Cristo Gonzalez (att)(Real Madrid); Ilya Nestorovski (att)(free agent); Walace (mid)(Hannover); Andrija Balic (mid)(Fortuna Sittard, end of loan); Giuseppe Pezzella (def)(Genoa, end of loan);

Out


Stefano Okaka (k)(att)(Watford, end of loan); Marvin Zeegelaar (sp)(def)(Watford, end of loan); Valon Behrami (k)(mid)(Sion); Emmanuel Badu (mid)(Hellas Verona, on loan); Dar-win Machis (att)(Granada); Cristo Gonzalez (att)(Huesca, on loan); Sandro (sp)(mid)(Genoa, end of loan); Ben Wilmot (def)(Watford, end of loan); Marco D’Alessandro (sp)(att)(SPAL via Atalanta, end of loan); Emil Halfredsson (mid)(released)

The past 5 seasons have been far from memorable for Udinese, who have hired and sacked lots of coaches, while always struggling for salvation and failing to repeat the wonders of the previous decade. In the past 2 campaigns, they only managed to achieve safety at the very end, thanks to Igor Tudor’s services. While he had not been confirmed at the start of the last season, this time around the management opted to give him an opportunity to prove his skills for the whole term. Then, they hired Pierpaolo Marino as sports director. He was one of the architects of Udinese at their best, under Zaccheroni and Spalletti, and he was given the reins again, which should prove that the Pozzo family are not exclu-sively concentrated on Watford. Tudor will not be able to count on Zeegelaar, a left-back, and Okaka, a centre-forward, in the new campaign as the two returned to their parent club despite proving fundamental for the final salvation. More players left over the summer but, among them, only Behrami, whose past campaign was a positive one, but spent more time on the sidelines than on the pitch, is worth mentioning. In terms of signings, Udinese hired two players like Jajalo and Nestoroski, who did well at Palermo, and were set free once the Sicilians failed last month. They were both much needed as Udinese lacked a real playmaker and a prolific striker. Moreover, they added Becao to the defence and that is a bit of a risk as he has no experience in Western European football. On the other hand, Walace should be a useful and skillful midfielder. Balic, returning from a loan in the Netherlands, could also be given relevant playing time in a role à la Pirlo. If Pezzella does not remain at the club, they will need a left-back while they might lose a lot in terms of quality if De Paul is sold to a bigger club.

Target


Udinese aim at quiet safety but they might be struggling if Tudor does not manage to give the team a more enterprising style of football. The summer attempts at adopting a back 4 have been not particularly promising.