Are you ready for your first actual Aston Villa transfer of the summer window? Well, get ready for an outgoing move, as it looks as though Pierluigi Gollini, Villa’s young, estranged Italian goalkeeper will be heading back to his motherland to tend to the goalposts of Bergamo.
The news, reported by Italian paper Gazzetta Dello Sport (and echoed by Tuttomercato), confirms that Gollini will bring his time at Aston Villa to an end after a long loan spell at Atalanta B.C. La Dea are set to action their loan option to turn the goalkeeper’s temporary spell into a permanent one for a fee of around 3.5 million euros.
Gollini, a promising signing that kicked off the Tony Xia era at Villa, never got going - at all. Some steady performances were underlined by large errors, and his career has taken a nosedive. He’ll look to kick on at Atalanta, and there’s still big interest in him - as there will be for all Italian keepers as Gigi Buffon heads into the twilight of his career. Gollini made 20 appearances for AVFC, but has only managed 12 so far at Atalanta. His time at Villa came to an end with the sacking of former manager, Roberto Di Matteo and his Italian coaches. The nationality of the coaches was mandatory for Gollini, so his move fell apart when Di Matteo’s reign collapsed.
As for the fee, don’t expect it to bust Aston Villa’s financial fair play woes. Alex Carson, our best man on this issue, reckons that Villa’s loss on the sale (Atalanta will likely pay €3.5m against the £4.5m Villa spent) will mean that only £2m + Gollini’s wages will be freed up for Villa. There’s more business to be conducted from here on out, then.
Since the fee has barely any impact on Villa’s standing, it could leave the club worse off - with the team having to search for a new senior goalkeeper (if they turn their back on the able Jed Steer) after Sam Johnstone returned to Manchester United. That means more money will have to be spent, on someone. If there wasn’t an option in the deal, it may have been smart of Villa to attempt to work Gollini back into the team.
We’ll be interested to see how Gollini’s career pans out from here. Good luck, Gollo!