De Zerbi: ‘Possible I could leave Sassuolo’

Roberto De Zerbi wants Sassuolo to attack Atalanta and ‘go for’ seventh place, but admits ‘it’s possible’ he could leave the club this summer.

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The Neroverdi are in eighth place, but only three points adrift of a Roma side in freefall.

“Having 52 points is good, because throughout all of last season we managed 51 and there are still five rounds to go,” the coach told Sassuolo Channel.

“However, it’s not yet time to evaluate what we’ve achieved, because we must try to get as many more points as possible, all while maintaining our identity and what we’ve built up over three years.

“There are only three points separating us from Roma, there’s a pretty big gap behind us, so why not go for it? We have become a mature team now, able to modify our approach even during a match.”

Atalanta can keep the Scudetto race alive for another week with a win and have a tendency to do well at the Mapei Stadium.

“It can be said that Atalanta are our bete noir, but we’re hardly the only team who have struggled against them. Let’s not forget they beat Milan 3-0 and are second in the table.

“We choose to face every opponent with an open and attacking approach, whether it’s Atalanta, Juventus, Inter, Milan, Napoli or Lazio. That does not change.

“For those who don’t think that’s the right approach, I point out if we finished eighth for two years in a row and are three points off seventh place now, that mentality has brought some advantages. If the price to pay for that is an occasional heavy defeat to Atalanta, then I say it’s worth the risk.”

It is this audacious approach to his football that allowed De Zerbi to catch the eye of more ambitious clubs, with reports of an offer on the table from Shakhtar Donetsk.

“It’s quite simple and I talked to the players about this too. People write things all over the place, I told the lads they and the club will be the first to know if anything does happen. I owe that to them and it’s the right thing to do.

“It’s possible I could leave, just as it’s possible I could stay. The players are professionals, they’re fully focused and can keep going with or without me.

“I will be the one to do it if there’s something to say, it won’t be some scoop on a website or newspaper. I like to be clear and fair in everything.”

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