British Club Newcastle United have completed the signing of 23-year-old Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali from AC Milan in a deal reported to be worth around $76 Million (£60 Million). The deal will run till 2028 as the player leaves the Italian giants AC Milan after 3 years.
Tonali Becomes the Most Expensive Italian Ever
The reported transfer fee of $76 million paid by Newcastle in order to buy Milan’s prized asset is the highest amount spent on an Italian player. Newcastle’s acquisition of the former Brescia player and AC Milan’s inability to hold on to him suggests a gradual shift of power between the European elites and clubs that have been newly acquired by business tycoons, especially from the Middle East.
Newcastle have made rapid improvements after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, became their owners in 2021. Newcastle have climbed to the 4th spot at the end of the recently concluded season to secure a place in next season’s Champions League, their first time in two decades.
The young midfielder, whose playing style has been likened to that of the former Italian star Gennaro Gattuso, has had an impressive sting at Milan. He helped the Rosoneris to win the 2021-22 Seria A title and reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2023 before being knocked out by arch-rivals Inter Milan.
Tonali, who is Newcastle boss Eddie Howe’s first signing of the summer, expressed his excitement to play for The Magpies. He told the club website that he is eagerly looking forward to playing at Saint James’ Park.
A Perfect fit for Newcastle
Coach Howe said: “He is an exceptional talent and has the mentality, physicality, and technical attributes to be a great fit for us.” He also cited his importance as one of the best players in the top European League who also has experience in playing the UCL and for his nation. He further stated that there is still room for improvement and hoped that the player would evolve under his guidance.
Source: The Telegraph
Newcastle expect to consolidate their position in the top four in the Premier League by reinforcing their squad with Tonali. They already have an array of excellent players in Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron, Alan Saint-Maximin, and Kieran Trippier to name a few and Tonali’s addition would see them continue to give a tough fight to the likes of Liverpool, and Chelsea, and Tottenham, who have all missed out on UCL qualification this season.
Tonali’s move is not only the most expensive Italian transfer of all time but also a record for Milan who sold their erstwhile superstar Kaka to Real Madrid for €68m in 2009.
The central midfielder has been a constant presence at the Italian side and has enjoyed nearly 4,000 minutes of game time across all competitions under Stefano Pioli. The player has 14 caps for Italy so far and helped his nation to third place in Uefa Nations League. Despite the Italian club experiencing a topsy-turvy season, they have ensured European football next season.
The midfielder expressed his gratitude for the new opportunity as he looks forward to adapting to the English top flight.