Liverpool, Arsenal braced for transfer disappointment as Milan eye top talent to replace Sandro Tonali

PSV Vitinha Benfica Florentino Luis

Liverpool and Arsenal may have to admit defeat in the chase for a highly rated midfielder after Italian giants Milan settled on him as a replacement for Sandro Tonali, according to one journalist.

Tonali will soon end his three-year association with Milan. Newcastle have agreed a deal with the Rossoneri to sign Tonali on a six-year contract. As per the player’s agent, Giuseppe Riso, the move could end up being worth €80million (£68.5m) if certain add-on clauses are met.

The Brescia academy graduate is set to become the most expensive Italian player of all time, ahead of Jorginho and Gianluigi Buffon. He becomes the latest top star to head to St James’ Park, following the likes of Sven Botman, Alexander Isak and Bruno Guimaraes.

Magpies manager Eddie Howe will be delighted as he will be able to select a midfield three of Tonali, Joe Willock and Guimaraes next term. Howe can utilise Joelinton there too, although the Brazilian also excels in a more attacking role.

While those at Newcastle will be getting excited about Tonali’s arrival, their Milan counterparts will be wondering how they can replace the talented 23-year-old.

This is where Benfica star Florentino Luis comes in. As per Italian reporter Gianluca Di Marzio, Milan have begun chasing the former Portugal U21 international.

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The Serie A club have already been in contact with Florentino’s entourage to see if he is open to joining them, and it seems he has given Milan the green light.

Milan now need to match Benfica’s €30m (£25.7m) asking price in order to reach an agreement. This should be relatively easy to do now that they have received an initial €70m (£60m) from Newcastle for Tonali.

Sandro Tonali successor found

Premier League clubs will be disappointed if Florentino goes through with his prospective transfer to Italy. In March, Liverpool were tipped to improve their midfield with his capture. And in May, Arsenal were thought to have joined Jurgen Klopp’s side in the race.

Instead, the 23-year-old will likely head to Milan in the next stage of his career. If he performs well in Serie A then he could end up achieving a major move to either England, Spain or Germany in a few years.

Of course, missing out on Florentino is not the end of the world for Liverpool or Arsenal. Liverpool have already landed Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton and are now being backed to sign Bayern’s Ryan Gravenberch too.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are ahead of Manchester City in the pursuit of West Ham skipper Declan Rice. And their second midfield arrival of the summer could be Southampton’s Romeo Lavia.

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta has made a big hint that Arsenal will sign more City players, while also explaining why the Gunners missed out on the Prem title.