June 15, 2024

Newcastle United new boy Sandro Tonali ‘can’t wait to play in EPL

NEWCASTLE: Newcastle United new boy Sandro Tonali has revealed he cannot wait to feel the St. James’ Park “warmth” after completing his $66 million switch from AC Milan.

The Magpies confirmed the capture of the Italian under-21 skipper on a five-year deal from the Serie A giants, but Arab News understands Tonali is yet to travel to Tyneside due to an issue with his agent.

He is expected to make his first visit to the North East later this week when he will be shown around the club’s revamped training facility and pose for pictures at the stadium.

It is understood Newcastle have paid about $66 million for his services, which is some way short of the $87 million claimed in the Italian press.

Tonali, who is expected to bag the club’s No. 8 jersey, said he could not wait to get started in the Premier League.

“First of all, I want to thank Newcastle United because they are giving me a huge opportunity for my career. I want to repay the trust on the pitch, giving it my all, as I always have. I’m really excited about playing at St. James Park, I can’t wait to feel the warmth of the fans,” he said.

Tonali slots into a midfield pack widely regarded as one of the major catalysts for Newcastle’s meteoric rise up the Premier League. They finished fourth last season, just 12 months on from fighting a relegation battle.

The 23-year-old joins Joelinton, Bruno Guimaraes, Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock in a midfield three, which despite being abundant in quality, was found wanting in terms of numbers at key moments last season.

Having nailed his top midfield target for the summer window, Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe is expecting great things from Tonali.

“I’m delighted to welcome Sandro to Newcastle United. He is an exceptional talent and has the mentality, physicality and technical attributes to be a great fit for us,” he said.

“At 23, Sandro already has important experience as a key player in one of Europe’s top leagues and in the Champions League, as well as playing for his country. But he also has the opportunity and potential to grow and evolve with us, and I’m excited to add him to our squad as we approach the exciting season ahead.”Sandro Tonali sends message to AC Milan fans and admits to having 'mixed emotions' after sealing £60m Newcastle move | Goal.com

A club statement said: “Newcastle United are delighted to announce the signing of Italian international midfielder Sandro Tonali from AC Milan. The 23-year-old joins the Magpies for an undisclosed fee and has agreed a contract at St. James’ Park initially until 2028.

“One of Italy’s most highly rated young players, Tonali has 14 international caps for the Azzurri and has captained his country during this summer’s UEFA Under-21 European Championships. After beginning his senior career with Brescia, where he achieved promotion from Serie B, he moved to Milan in 2020 — initially on a season-long loan — and has now amassed 130 Serie A appearances. Last season, he also played in all 12 group and knockout phase games as AC Milan reached the semifinal stage of the UEFA Champions League.”

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