Serie A campaigners Atalanta have made a significant transfer decision regarding highly-rated defender Caleb Okoli, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Italian-Nigerian may soon find himself leaving Atalanta, as reports in Italy suggest that the club is open to considering offers for him. One of the interested parties is fellow Italian side Monza, who strongly like the talented young Italian.
Despite their interest, Monza’s CEO, Adriano Galliani, seems to be in no rush to finalise a deal.
Okoli, who celebrates his 22nd birthday today, July 13, has been a part of Atalanta’s setup since 2016, joining their youth system from Vicenza.
His time on loan at Cremonese in Serie B last season proved pivotal for his development, as he showcased his potential and played a crucial role in their promotion to Serie A for the first time in 26 years.
While Okoli was expected to make a significant impact for Atalanta this season, the club’s fierce competition for European qualifying spots limited his playing time. He made 17 appearances as Atalanta finished fifth in the league, securing a place in the Europa League.
A potential transfer to Monza could allow Okoli to establish himself as a key figure within their ranks.
Monza struggled defensively last season, conceding 52 goals, the highest among the top 11 teams in the division.
Regular playing time in Serie A could also strengthen the Nigeria Football Federation’s case in persuading Okoli to represent the Super Eagles at the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
The Vicenza-born defender has earned high praise from head coach Jose Peseiro, making him an enticing defensive option for the Portuguese tactician as Nigeria aim to secure their fourth continental crown in January.