Friday July 19 2019
Cellino: Tonali not for sale

Brescia owner Massimo Cellino has declared that Sandro Tonali is not for sale - unless Fiorentina offer Federico Chiesa in exchange.

Paris Saint-Germain were reportedly looking to emulate their deal for Marco Verratti with Tonali, but Cellino made it clear Brescia were 'the best place' for the Italy Under-21 midfielder.

"I haven't set a price because he's not for sale," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I talked to Sandro recently, and he's aware that this is the best place for him.

"He's a genuine lad and has a family with healthy principles by his side. He'll give us a hand in staying up and establishing ourselves in Serie A.

"Fiorentina have looked at him for a while. I could be interested in selling him to them too: would they like to exchange him for Chiesa?"

The former Cagliari President was then asked about ex-protege Nicolo Barella, who recently joined Inter.

"I consider Nicolo to be the last of the Mohicans, seeing as I was the one who gave him his first professional contract: at 16 he was already how he is now, with a predestined character.

"He grew up with [former Cagliari youth chief Gianfranco] Matteoli, who is reunited with him at Appiano [Gentile], and I think he had nice words for him.

"Tonali is unique. He has the technical and competitive qualities to cover two roles simultaneously: 'regista' and 'mezz'ala'.

"Thanks to this versatility, we were able to afford two forwards. You'll see."

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