Newcastle United are reportedly ‘close’ to reaching an ‘agreement’ with Serie A giants AC Milan over the signing of Italy international Sandro Tonali.
The Magpies are ramping up their efforts to acquire their top summer targets ahead of their return to the Champions League.
Eddie Howe’s side have been heavily linked with James Maddison and Nicolo Barella, but Tonali is understood to be another target.
The midfielder helped AC Milan win Serie A in 2021/22 and the 14-cap Italy international has played 130 times for AC Milan over the past three seasons.
Fabrizio Romano was quick to pour cold water on reports linking Tonali with Newcastle, as AC Milan “want important money or nothing”.
“Yesterday, we had some rumours about Sandro Tonali to Newcastle, Romano said via his YouTube channel.
“What we can say is that it’s a reality. Newcastle like Sandro Tonali, Newcastle have Sandro Tonali on their list but as we already said for Nicolo Barella last week, this is a very similar case.
“Newcastle would love to sign Sandro Tonali as they would love to sign Nicolo Barella but the main point is first of all the value of the bid because Milan want important money or nothing.
“Tonali is more than an important player for Milan, and then there’s the player’s side. It’s crucial to say because Tonali is a big Milan fan, he’s a Milan symbol and so to convince Sandro Tonali is going to be absolutely difficult, same as it was for Nicolo Barella.
“So, this is the situation, let’s see how the conversation goes. Interest, yes, intention to bid too, but the reality is the player’s side is absolutely crucial for Barella and Tonali.”
But The Athletic’s David Ornstein – who is almost always on the money with his reports – has since made Romano look a tad foolish.
Ornstein revealed on Wednesday evening that Newcastle are ‘close to an agreement with AC Milan to sign Tonali for a fee in the region of €70million’. He adds.
‘Newcastle luanched an ambitious bid to sign Tonali and following an offer of around €50million on Tuesday, the situation has progressed after face-to-face negotiations today.
‘Tonali, who also attracted interest from Chelsea, emerged as a key target early in the window, with Howe seeking two midfielders after the club secured Champions League football next season.’
If Football Insider are to be believed, Tonali could be joined at Newcastle by Wolves’ Ruben Neves.
The centre-midfielder is ‘close’ to joining Al Hilal from Wolves for £47m and Newcastle have ‘discussed internally the possibility of sensationally signing him on loan’ from the Middle East side.
If this deal goes through, Neves would make an ‘instant return to the Premier League’ and this loan ‘could run for two years’. The report adds.
‘Sources have told Football Insider that the deal has been discussed at an internal level and is regarded as possible given the links between the club and the new football financial hotspot of Saudi Arabia.
‘Al Hilal have been taken over by the country’s Public Investment Fund (PiF), who own an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle.’