Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Done deal: Record-setting Sandro Tonali explains why joining Newcastle from AC Milan is ‘huge opportunity’

AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali

Newcastle United have made Sandro Tonali the most expensive Italian player of all time after confirming the midfielder’s arrival from AC Milan.

While the transfer fee Newcastle are paying for Tonali is officially undisclosed, it has been reported as being at the €70m (£60m) mark, which sees him set a new record for an Italian player changing clubs, having overtaken the €57m that Chelsea paid for (the admittedly Brazilian-born) Jorginho in 2018.

Tonali had been with Milan – the team he supported from childhood – since 2020 after a move from Brescia. Now, the midfielder is a Newcastle player, on a contract until 2028. It will be his first experience of playing in the Premier League.

Turning his back on his boyhood club caught some Serie A observers by surprise, but Tonali has talked up the size of the opportunity Newcastle are giving him.

Speaking to his new club’s official website, Tonali said: “First of all, I want to thank Newcastle United because they are giving me a huge opportunity for my career.

“I want to repay the trust on the pitch, giving it my all, as I always have.

“I’m really excited about playing at St. James’ Park. I can’t wait to feel the warmth of the fans.”

Tonali played in the Champions League in each of the past two seasons for Milan. He will get to experience that kind of stage again with Newcastle in the upcoming campaign.

Therefore, Eddie Howe is excited about calling upon the 23-year-old’s exciting blend of experience and remaining potential to develop.

The head coach added: “I’m delighted to welcome Sandro to Newcastle United.

“He is an exceptional talent and has the mentality, physicality and technical attributes to be a great fit for us.

“At 23, Sandro already has important experience as a key player in one of Europe’s top leagues and in the Champions League, as well as playing for his country.

“But he also has the opportunity and potential to grow and evolve with us, and I’m excited to add him to our squad as we approach the exciting season ahead.”

Teammate already anticipating Tonali link-up

Howe is not the only existing Newcastle man who is enthusiastic about the arrival of Tonali. Recently, Anthony Gordon highlighted how strong his new teammate is.

Gordon said: “I knew him from his early days at Brescia.

“I remember seeing some clips of him before he went to AC Milan. He has excelled and is one of the top midfielders in the world.

“It shows the direction we are going in. I’m really looking forward to playing with him.”

Tonali has left Milan with 130 appearances and seven goals behind him. Before that, his record for Brescia was six goals from 89 games.

At international level, he has 14 senior caps for Italy and the same number for their under-21s, whom he captained in their underwhelming Euro 2023 campaign.

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