Italian wonderkid Sandro Tonali has turned down the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona to sign for AC Milan this summer, according to Brescia president Massimo Cellino.
Tonali is poised to put pen to paper on a deal with the San Siro club, bringing to an end the Europe-wide pursuit for his services which has seen every elite club in Europe linked.
And now Cellino has admitted that United and Barca had posted serious interest in the 20-year-old, who appeared set for Inter Milan before turning everybody down once their bitter rivals AC made interest known.
‘I know that [Inter CEO] Beppe Marotta really wanted Tonali, and that [Inter head coach] Antonio Conte appreciated him, so I think his agent had agreed terms with Inter,’ Cellino told Top Calcio24.
‘As soon as Milan showed real interest, he did not want to listen to any other options.
‘I also have a historically good rapport with Milan and we reached an agreement with [Milan technical director] Paolo Maldini quite quickly.
‘We also had interest from Barcelona and Manchester United, but the lad is in love with Milan and went crazy once he heard of their offer, because he supports them.’
Huge things are expected of Tonali in his homeland, with the player repeatedly compared against the iconic Andrea Pirlo.
The financial deal for Tonali looks set to be a staggered one, with AC Milan initially paying a sizeable loan fee before committing to purchasing the player thereafter.
Milan’s initial outlay on the loan will cost €10m (£9m) with an option to then buy for a further €15m (£13m) and another €10m in potential add-ons thereafter once a series of clauses are met.