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Cellino: Sandro Tonali ‘prefers Inter and Juventus’ amid PSG, Barca interest

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It doesn’t sound like the young Italian wants to leave Italy.

AS Roma v Brescia Fc - Serie A Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Things have been relatively quiet on the Sandro Tonali front as of late. That’s mainly because Juventus’ transfer rumor cycle has focused more on Miralem Pjanic, Arthur Melo and everything revolving around that ongoing “Will he or won’t he?” saga coming from the Barcelona side of the equation. Essentially, last we heard about Tonali was that his preference was to go to Inter Milan mostly because he feels like that is where he will get more playing time right off the bat.

We got a little more of an idea regarding Tonali’s thought process.

And it just so happens to be coming from the man who will benefit from all of the millions that will be sent Brescia’s way wherever Tonali is sold in the next transfer window.

There were two major developments to come out of Massimo Cellino’s interview with Il Corriere dello Sport. The first is that Cellino, Brescia’s owner, said that both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have contacted Brescia regarding Tonali, going so far to say that “Barcelona had arrived at €65 million plus two very interesting guys valued €7.5 million each” before the coronavirus outbreak shut down Serie A. The second, which is of more interest to us here at BWRAO, is Tonali “doesn’t want to go to France. He prefers Inter and Juve,” which is obviously good news no matter what interest from outside of Italy there may currently be.

More from Cellino:

“Nasser would like to have him in Paris, he wrote me today. But [Tonali] doesn’t want to go to France.

“He prefers Inter and Juve. [Napoli President Aurelio] De Laurentiis has offered me €40m, Fiorentina are ready to do whatever it takes, but his fate is more or less sealed.

“Before the coronavirus, Barcelona had arrived at €65m plus two very interesting guys valued €7.5m each, one was a defender.

“I think the Catalan leaders received an answer they didn’t like. And not from Tonali. Sandro is a kid who lights up as soon as he sees a ball. On the pitch, I have seen him do impressive things, in a three-man midfield he can play anywhere.

“His personality… He sacrifices himself for his team, before the suspension he had been hiding an inflammation in his quadriceps from me. He wanted to help his teammates. When we realised, we had to force him to stop.”

(Source: Football Italia)

Now, as mentioned earlier, the only real reporting done on what Tonali’s preference might be came in late April, where Il Corriere dello Sport said that the 20-year-old midfielder’s preference was to sign with Inter this summer. Seeing as the Corriere dello Sport hasn’t exactly been the most reliable over the years, you might have taken it with a grain of salt. But, they do seem to have some sort of in with Brescia and Cellino, so that could very well be the case.

The fact that Cellino himself has said that Tonali’s “fate is more or less sealed” could very well mean that he’s got a deal lined up and all that is left to do is some final details. Or that some kind of guarantee has been given to Juventus or Inter and once the resumption of play begins — or is close to finishing up in a few months — then that’s when the real negotiating will actually begin.

Either way, seeing that Cellino isn’t giving in to some rather large bids and interest from big-money clubs outside of Italy does give you hope that Tonali’s future will be in Serie A. Maybe not with a final price tag of €65 million like Cellino says Barcelona offered, but Tonali isn’t going to be cheap no matter where he ends up playing next season.