Sandro Tonali ‘wanted to stay at AC Milan’ and ‘broke down in tears when told about move

Sandro Tonali wanted to stay at AC Milan and ‘broke down in tears’ when he was told that the Serie A club wanted to sell him, say reports in Italy.

The 23-year-old midfielder, who has made 130 appearances for the Rossoneri, will sign a six-year deal with Newcastle this summer, according to Fabrizio Romano.

A fee of €70 million [£59m] plus add-ons has been agreed between both clubs, with Tonali set to earn €9 million [£7.7m] per year at St James’ Park; a total that includes add-ons.

Romano added on Friday afternoon: “Sandro Tonali deal is completed but will not be announced today or this week as it takes time to complete formal details.

“All documents are in place, the deal is done and sealed. No doubts. Contract will be valid for 6 years.”

A deal to sign a player of Tonali’s ilk has sparked plenty of excitement amongst the Newcastle fan base.

He will no doubt thrive in a deep-lying midfield role – a position Eddie Howe has wanted to strengthen for some time – but did he want to join in the first place?

On Friday evening, La Repubblica made some extraordinary claims about his impending move.

The Italian publication suggest Tonali wanted to stay at AC Milan, and when he was told that the club ‘absolutely wanted’ to sell him to Newcastle to pick up what is a hefty transfer fee, he broke down in tears.

The report goes on to claim that Tonali wanted to stay with Milan, a club he grew up supporting, for the rest of his career.

Tonali’s agent Giuseppe Riso made a comment about the deal on Friday. “This is an excellent deal, Newcastle is the perfect project for Tonali. Newcastle wanted Sandro as key signing at all costs,” he said.

Tonali revealed his love for AC Milan in a 2019 interview. “My father is a Milanista, while my mother and my uncle are Interisti,” he said. “As a child, I went crazy for the Milan colors and my idol was Gattuso.”

His dreams came true in 2020, when he joined the Italian giants on a season-long loan from Brescia before a deal was made permanent a year later.

The highly-rated midfielder went on to play an important role in last year’s famous Scudetto win – their first Serie A title in 11 years.

He made 48 appearances for Milan last season as they reached the Champions League semi-final.

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