Brescia owner Massimo Cellino has said that the club’s midfield wonderkid Sandro Tonali sees his future in Italy ahead of this summer’s transfer window.
Tonali has attracted multiple admirers across Europe during a breakout season for the struggling Serie A club; drawing comparisons to calcio legend Andrea Pirlo.
The 20-year-old playmaker has been linked with various top clubs, and the Premier League has been touted as a possible destination, with Liverpool and Manchester City both listed among his suitors.
However Cellino, who himself was involved in English football during a controversial stint as chairman of Leeds United, spoke to Italian radio channel Rai Gr Parlamento (via Football Italia) about the next step of Tonali’s career, stating that the player was hoping to stay in Italy.
“So far there’s only been a few phone calls, without anything beyond that,” Cellino said of transfer discussions involving Tonali.
“It’s difficult to talk about [the transfer market] after everything that’s happened, but I hope the lad keeps having fun on the pitch like he did before. I wouldn’t like all these rumours to lead to another problem, which hurts our chances of staying up.”
Cellino confirmed that there had been strong interest from several Serie A clubs, and warned that although he would help Tonali stay in Italy, the starlet would come at a price.
“Inter and Juve have both asked me about him, as have other teams. What’s for certain is that the player wants to stay in Italy and we’ll accommodate him,” he revealed.
Cellino also spoke frankly about the club’s current relationship with Mario Balotelli, which has seen the striker accuse his hometown club of failing to test him for coronavirus.
“Ask him. Nothing’s happening right now, except that there are many other players in good shape who don’t end up in the newspapers every day.” commented Cellino in response to the latest stand-off.
“My club is licking its wounds and made a big financial sacrifice for Mario’s contract. He was our big dream.”