Atalanta president Antonio Percassi has told the Italian media a deal to sign Middlesbrough midfielder Marten de Roon is looking unlikely. The Dutchman has been linked with a return to his former club in the past week.

Speaking to L’Eco di Bergamo this weekend, Percassi was asked about the situation with De Roon, following claims the Serie A club were in talks with Middlesbrough. Despite the reported interest from the Italian side the Atalanta chief has confirmed a deal will be difficult.

“De Roon? Difficult, very difficult,” said Percassi, getting to the point.

Last week we covered reports from Italy that Middlesbrough were in discussions with Atalanta, but the Championship side were insisting they got €14m for the Netherlands international.

Middlesbrough are looking to recoup what they paid Atalanta last summer for the 26-year-old, and subsequently a move back to Italy has cooled in the past few days.

De Roon himself doesn’t seem to be pushing for a transfer, and Middlesbrough may well feel he’s a player they can keep for another season… unless something seriously tempting arrives from an interested club.