04 August 2020 00:40

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Gasp hopes to have Ilicic back for next season By Football Italia staff Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini hopes to have Josip Ilicic back for next season and thinks La Dea can only continue to fight at the top of Serie A with some improvements to the squad. Ilicic has reportedly returned to Slovenia, as he's going through a difficult time and Gasperini must cope without the attacker when La Dea enter the Champions League Final eight tournament. "Josip is surrounded by a lot of affection, it could have happened to anyone," Gasperini told Radio Anch'io Sport. "We are all helping him, we hope that he will come out of this moment. "Objectively it's difficult for him to return for this Champions League.

Gasp hopes to have Ilicic back for next season

I hope he will be with us next season." The 62-year-old admits it has been difficult to replace Ilicic but praised Rusland Malinovskyi, Mario Pasalic and Luis Muriel for stepping up. "His absence has taken away a lot, we don't have a similar alternative," Gasp added. "However, we have adapted well with Malinovskyi and Pasalic, or with Muriel. "When a player is missing like this, it's always difficult to replace him. It's still easier to make up for an absence like this when you play only one leg." After having finished third in Serie A this term, five points behind champions Juventus, Gasperini thinks the Orobici can take another step forward with some additions over the summer. "We will do everything to improve, but Italian football depends on the economical aspect too. Other clubs have superior resources, our system doesn't allow clubs like ours to stay high up for a long time. "We can be competitive if we can improve the squad." Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: