Cellino: I’ll only sell Tonali to…

by | Nov 14, 2018 09:00

Brescia owner Massimo Cellino affirms he will only sell teenage midfielder Sandro Tonali to the team ‘who show the lad and I most love’.

The likes of Inter, Juventus and Chelsea have been linked with Tonali, who has been compared to Andrea Pirlo for his playing style and starting his career at Brescia, but Cellino made it clear money would not be his motivation for selling ‘Italy’s future’.

Brescia owner Massimo Cellino affirms he will only sell teenage midfielder Sandro Tonali to the team ‘who show the lad and I most love’.

The likes of Inter, Juventus and Chelsea have been linked with Tonali, who has been compared to Andrea Pirlo for his playing style and starting his career at Brescia, but Cellino made it clear money would not be his motivation for selling ‘Italy’s future’.

“I often talk about football to Allegri and discuss tactics with him, but we’ve never talked about Tonali,” he told tuttosport.

“There’s no need: Sandro is a talent whom every Coach would like to have. He’s a modern midfielder who solves tactical problems.

“Tonali starts off as a ‘regista’, but he’s so good that he can raise or lower the team’s centre of gravity, based on the needs of the Coach.

“Would I prefer Tonali be coached by Allegri, Guardiola or Sarri? I hope he remains at Corini’s disposal for as long as possible.

“I have a very good feeling about Eugenio. He’s a very good Coach. If Tonali wants to stay at Brescia, I’m willing to keep him forever.

“In any case, I’d like to enjoy him a bit more and focus on promotion to Serie A so we don’t lose half our team.

“No-one’s called me for Tonali yet, although it’s understandable that everyone likes him. If – and when – the time comes to sell him, not just a super offer will be enough to convince me.

“Those who want Tonali will have to show the lad and I the most love. When I say love, I mean with regards to their the approach, the right time, not distracting him from Brescia.

“These aspects are more important than the money, like it happened with Nainggolan at Cagliari.

“Juve offered more money for Radja, but Roma showed that they wanted me more, making sacrifices. 

“When I got to Brescia, Tonali was a ‘mezzala’ and and he wasn’t even a starter for our Primavera team.

“I noticed him in training and asked [then-Coach Roberto] Boscaglia to promote him to the first team.

“I followed his development closely: he’s a modern ‘regista’ because he possesses the dynamism of a ‘mezzala’.

“There is a characteristic that he mustn’t lose if he wants to reach the top: the spirit of being at the service of others.

“Tonali has the quality of the champion but is humble. I hope God keeps him like that, but I’m optimistic because he has two exemplary parents.

“He’s Italy’s future, but his present is Brescia.”

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