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Newcastle United have held discussions with AC Milan about a potential £45m move for one of the Italian giant’s top midfielders, according to numerous reports.
The Magpies, who exceeded expectations to finish fourth in the Premier League last season, want to build a Champions League-ready squad ahead of the new campaign and United have made inquiries for a number of top-class midfield prospects.
AC Milan’s cultured midfielder Sandro Tonali has moved into the club’s crosshairs this week with Newcastle keen to thrash out terms on a big-money switch for the Italian international.
Newcastle chase Tonali signature
Over the past twelve hours, reports started to surface in Italy to suggest that Newcastle were in advanced negotiations with Milan for the 23-year-old playmaker.
Sources closer to the Magpies were subsequently quick to indicate that a move for Tonali was far from advanced, however, they did confirm the club’s interest in signing the gifted midfielder.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe wants to add some stardust to his options in the middle to offer a foil for the brilliant Brazilian Bruno Guimaraes and Tonali has all the attributes to be a huge hit in the north east.
United are reportedly willing to offer Tonali a sizable increase on his current salary with Milan, which is believed to be below £100,000 per week. However, the ex-Brescia starlet penned a fresh contract with the Rossoneri last year until 2027, which means Newcastle will have to come up with a bid large enough to tempt Milan into selling.
Top class Tonali would be a major coup
Sandro Tonali is currently on duty with the Italian U21s who are preparing to compete in the European Championships, though the 23-year-old has already featured 14 times at senior level for the Azzurri since making his debut for Italy in 2019.
Tonali, who is a boyhood Milan supporter, moved to San Siro from Brescia in 2020 and quickly established himself as a regular in the team’s midfield, clocking up over 130 appearances in all competitions and netting seven times.
A tenacious competitor, Tonali is also known for his tough tackling and the hard-hitter was cautioned a whopping 13 times in Serie A last season – a competition he won with Milan in 2021/22.
Tonali also chipped in with two goals and notched seven assists in 30 starts in the Italian top flight last term and his creative chance-creating powers are thought to appeal to Howe.
As a dyed-in-the-wool Milan fanatic
Newcastle had initially made Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella their primary target in midfield, though they were knocked back in their attempts to sign the Italian
Alongside Inter being reluctant sellers, it is believed that Barella himself was unwilling to swap his beloved Nerazzurri for a new challenge with Newcastle in the Premier League.
The Magpies could face similar difficulties convincing Tonali to trade Milan for England’s north east, with the schemer thought to be content with life in his homeland, where a starring role in a Champions League side is on offer again next season.
Nevertheless, after their failure to land Barella, Newcastle are expected to push hard to bring Tonali to St. James’ Park and the lure of a big contract should give the 23-year-old a decision to make.
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