Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali was almost on his way to Old Trafford before signing for Serie A side AC Milan.
Tonali is considered one of European football’s most promising young players. The 20-year-old will join Milan in the coming days.
Sandro Tonali to AC Milan, confirmed and it’s a done deal: here we go! Agreement reached for a loan with buy option from Brescia. Personal terms agreed today. Inter are out of the race after having an agreement with Tonali since April. 🔴⚫️ @SkySport @DiMarzio @PeppeDiSte #Milan
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 30, 2020
He reportedly had a host of clubs interested in his signature, including the likes of Inter Milan and Juventus – in addition to Manchester United.
Tonali’s former club Brescia is now owned by ex-Leeds owner Massimo Cellino. The Italian was one of English football’s most controversial figures during his time at Elland Road.
Speaking to Top Calcio 24, Cellino outlined that when AC Milan showed interest, Tonali’s heart was set on a move. He also claimed that Man United offered €10 million more than Milan, however Tonali was never interested.
“As soon as Milan showed real interest, he did not want to listen to any other options. I also have historically a good rapport with Milan and we reached an agreement with Paolo Maldini quite quickly.
“We also had interest from Barcelona and Manchester United, but the lad is in love with Milan and went crazy once he heard of their offer, because he supports them. When the player found out about this possibility, he didn’t want to know anything more.
“Those figures are correct, but we turned down €65m from Barcelona in January and about a dozen days ago Manchester United had offered €10m more than Milan.”
United confirmed the signing of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek earlier this week. The Dutch international is the Red Devils’ first signing of the transfer window.
Tonali would have been an exciting addition to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad, given his quality. The midfielder featured for Italy’s U21s against Ireland in 2019 and has been likened to Andrea Pirlo.
Tonali featured 35 times in Serie A for Brescia last season.