The fee is said to be in the region of €70m, as reported by James Horncastle and David Ornstein of The Athletic at the end of June.
In a move that caught nearly everybody by surprise, Newcastle approached Milan at the start of the week and submitted “an initial offer of approximately €50m” for Tonali. That bid was rejected by Milan, although things progressed quickly, and all parties met in Italy and Romania in subsequent days in order for both clubs to reach the final agreement and Newcastle to run some procedural medical tests ahead of the transfer.
According to the aforementioned reports, Chelsea were also interested in Tonali but were ultimately outdone by Newcastle. The Magpies were linked to fellow Italy international Nicolo Barella days before the Tonali transfer was completed, though that feels more like a move by the Internazionale player/agent to get a new deal from his current club than a real interest by Newcastle in the midfielder.
Tonali arrives in Newcastle surpassing the record-breaking signing of Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad last summer. All things considered, this signing feels like the real arrival of NUFC among Europe’s elite having already sealed their return to the Champions League after finishing fourth in the Premier League last season.
Now the newest member of the Magpie family, Tonali is no ordinary player and indeed a precocious talent. At just 23 years old, he has already played a vital role in AC Milan’s recent seasons helping them clinch their first Scudetto in over a decade in 2022 and allowing them to reach the UCL semi-finals a couple of months ago in mid-May.
Hailing from Lodi and debuting as a pro at Brescia of Italy’s Serie B, Tonali joined Milan on loan in 2020 and he will now play for Newcastle in the no. 6 role pushing Bruno higher up the pitch and into the latter’s preferred no. 8 role.
Tonali comes off completing a 48-app campaign in which he clinched a fourth Serie A position with Milan while Last season, he made an impressive 48 appearances in all competitions, contributing to Milan’s fourth-place finish in Serie A while scoring two goals and providing nine assists to his teammates through 3,974 minutes of play (starting 44 of the 48 matches he appeared in).
A few days ago, Horncastle of The Athletic ($) wrote a profile on Tonali. In it, he highlighted Milan’s financial troubles as one of the main reasons for the Italian giants to make the decision of cashing in and selling Tonali this summer even with the vast potential he has showcased at his young age.
Although Tonali was always expected to remain a Milan-lifer by the fans of the club since he established himself as soon as he moved on from Brescia back in the summer of 2020, it felt inevitable that he would end up moving on from a team mired in mediocrity in a lesser league such as Italy’s Serie A when compared to the ever-growing Premier League.
Newcastle are expected to keep working the transfer market through the next few weeks and into the 2022/23 season in order to bolster a roster that will have to play in more competitions than it’s done in a decade, including the top-level Champions League across Europe and the Premier League along with multiple national cups on domestic ground.
Welcome home, Sandro!