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Atalanta sign Russia forward Miranchuk as Ilicic stays away

Atalanta have signed Aleksei Miranchuk from Lokomotiv Moscow, the Serie A club announced on Friday, as the Italian outfit continue to wait on the return of star attacker Josip Ilicic.

The arrival of the 24-year-old Russia international forward, which bolsters the attack of last season’s Serie A top scorers, had already been announced late last month by Lokomotiv pending his successful medical in Italy. 

Atalanta reportedly paid 14.5 million euros ($17.1 million) for Miranchuk, who has scored five times for Russia in 25 appearances and has signed a five-year deal with the Bergamo club.

Miranchuk could initially take Ilicic’s place in Gian Piero Gasperini’s side as his new teammate has not reported for training this week.

Atalanta, who came to within seconds of reaching the Champions League semi-finals in Lisbon last month, have been without Slovenian Ilicic since he returned to his home country for unspecified personal reasons ahead of their ill-fated quarter-final with Paris Saint-Germain.

Gasperini’s team will start the new Serie A season a week late after their opening match at Lazio was postponed to allow them a longer break following their European exertions.

Their first match will be at Torino on September 26 in the second round of fixtures.

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