AC Milan has beaten serious competition from around Europe to the signing of Brescia wonder-kid Sandro Tonali.
According to Sky Sport’s Fabrizio Romano, AC Milan has agreed with Brescia owner, Massimo Cellino, on an initial one-year loan move with a €30 million option to buy for the midfield.
Tonali was heavily linked with a move to arch-rival Inter Milan, while clubs outside of Italy such as Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Barcelona eyeing the 20-year-old who lit up the Seria A last season.
Former Italy international, Federico Balzaretti, while speaking on the AC Milan bound Tonali, believes he is ready to play at any top club after growing to be one of the best midfielders in Italy since joining Brescia a 12-year-old in 2012.
He said: “Tonali, the first time I watched him, his passing [stood out],”
“His idea, to pass and to play vertical. He is totally different to Andrea Pirlo but he could play together with Pirlo. It would be a great, great partnership because he is more physical maybe than Pirlo.
“What Andrea has is a light interior and a vision to map the field, to play under pressure and understand one or two times before other players. Tonali doesn’t have that yet.
“But of course, Tonali is a great character. His defensive numbers are very high in the league. When you watch him after 10-15 minutes, you say okay he will be a national team player for the next 15 years.
“It’s impressive. I watched him three years ago, he is very young. It’s unbelievable. He is an incredible player. He is ready to play for a top, top club in Europe – if it’s Juventus, Inter, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, I don’t know, it doesn’t matter. He is ready for the next step.”
The 20-year-old has been likened to Italy legend Andre Pirlo, but the new Juventus head coach believes Tonali could be even better than he was.
“It is said that he may be my heir, but I don’t see many things in common,” he told Nicolo De Devitiis during an Instagram Live chat.
“He is another type of player. He is much more complete both in the defensive phase and when he sets up. He is a mix between my characteristics and those of other players.
“He is the most promising of midfielders. He will surely become a great player.”