Sassuolo return for preseason training ahead of Europa League debut in July

ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti assesses Sassuolo’s rise in Italian football, while maintaining an Italian core of players.

Sassuolo are the first Serie A side to commence preseason training ahead of their Europa League qualifying debut on July 28.

The Neroverdi exceeded all expectations by finishing sixth in the Serie A last year, earning them a first taste of European football.

But the Europa League qualifying dates meant that Sassuolo were forced to begin their preseason preparations earlier than the rest of the Italian top-flight clubs, launching on Sunday with a week of tests and training.

“We don’t want to replace players but to improve, so all we do will be to increase the strength of the team in the hope that we will be involved in three different competitions,” Francesco Magnanelli, the Sassuolo captain, said.

Sassuolo are keen to hold on to star striker Domenico Berardi.

Key players Francesco Acerbi and Domenico Berardi have both been linked with moves away from the club this summer, with forward Berardi reportedly weighing up an approach from Inter Milan, despite Sassuolo’s insistence that he will not be leaving until next summer.

But Magnanelli revealed that the pair have both met up with the rest of the squad for the training camp.

“Acerbi and Berardi will for sure continue to receive important offers, which they deserve because they have both done extraordinarily well,” Magnanelli said. “But they both joined the camp with a big smile and are fully motivated.”

Next up in Sassuolo’s training regime is a trip to the Alpine resort of Malles, where they will remain until July 25.

The original version of this story which was published by ESPN can be viewed here.

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