Brescia President Massimo Cellino claims Sandro Tonali “is worth €300m” and he already received offers from “all the big Italians, Atletico Madrid, PSG and Man City.”
The midfielder is only 19 years old, but has made his senior Italy debut and impressed in his maiden Serie A season.
“His talent is clear for all to see, but the truly special thing about Sandro is his smile. He loves to play football and the rest is of no real interest to him,” Cellino told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“There is always the risk with young players that sudden fame can create problems, but he is doing so well. I believe he can become even better, as I’ve never had such a good player in my squad.
“Tonali sacrifices himself so much for the team with his defensive work, but if he were to move to a more advanced role, he’d score more goals. You’ll see, he’s got a great shot.”
Naturally, the transfer speculation around ‘the new Andrea Pirlo’ had already begun when he was in Serie B last season.
“The other day, his agent and his parents were telling me about this €50m evaluation. I replied that for me he is worth €300m, which means I don’t want to sell.
“I have a dream. If Sandro accepts, I am ready to make a big financial sacrifice to extend his contract. It’s up to him to decide. He can stay here and enjoy his football, or go to a big club and risk being left on the bench.”
Cellino was asked if he’d had much contact with clubs seeking Tonali.
“All the big Italian clubs. Abroad there’s Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, but in my view, he’d be better off remaining as a protagonist with Brescia.”