Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the signing of Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini.
Spurs have loaned the Italian stopper for a season and have an option to buy for £13 million next summer.
Gollini spent time at Fiorentina and Manchester United as a youngster before breaking through into senior football with Hellas Verona.
The 26-year-old had a short spell with Aston Villa upon their relegation to the Championship in 2016, making 20 appearances.
He then signed for Atalanta on a permanent basis in 2018.
Featuring on 108 occasions for the Bergamo-based club, Gollini has helped Gian Piero Gasperini’s side become a regular in the Champions League, finishing third in Serie A last season.
Although known for his pedigree in the Italian top-flight, it was at Villa Park where he made a famous connection.
Per The Athletic, Gollini was a popular member of the Villains’ dressing room.
He was pals with Jack Grealish and the pair once attended a Justin Bieber concert together.
His love for the footballer lifestyle is said to have left some with the impression that Gollini was more concerned with that aspect of his time in Birmingham than being a ‘regular’ second-tier goalkeeper at a club of Villa’s stature.
Gollini is also a rapper.
Gollini struck up a friendship with Grealish while at Villa
(Image: Dave Thompson)
He told Gazzetta dello Sport in 2018 that his time in the north west of England helped him in his musical education – not just his footballing one.
“I got to know even more about rap,” the Italy international said on his time with United.
“From a musical point of view, going to Manchester was great.
“There were loads of African and South American players who helped me discover new things,” he explained.
“Rap has come on a lot in Italy too.”
In June 2018, under the pseudonym Gollorius, Gollini released a single called ‘Rapper Coi Guanti’ (Rapper With Gloves).
Is Gollini an adequate successor to the aging Hugo Lloris? Let us know your thoughts here.
The song was made to raise money for charity and Gollini’s hometown in Bologna, for the renovation of the pitches he used to play on as a child.
He sings: “You will make a lot of money, my people are waiting for me, every time I come back it’s a party.
“I greet the neighborhood that sees me on TV today, I don’t change for success, I train night and day, you see me in luxury places but the rest of Poggio.
“As a child I dreamed of this, I struggle day and night on the field.”
Gollini added that he was “blessed and proud” upon sealing the deal to move to north London.
The deal to bring the 6ft 2in stopper in is the first under Tottenham’s new director of football, Fabio Paratici.
Spurs are also closing in on Gollini’s ex-Atalanta team-mate, Christian Romero, as well as fellow Serie A centre-back Takehiro Tomiyasu of Bologna.
Nuno Espirito Santo is now in charge of the Lilywhites after chairman Daniel Levy took over two months to find a successor for Jose Mourinho, who was sacked in April.
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