AC Milan are the team who have won the race to sign highly-coveted Italian youngster Sandro Tonali from Brescia.

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The 20-year-old and Brescia have agreed a deal that will see him join Milan on a one-year loan before making a permanent move for €30 million in total with a €10m loan fee and €20m future fee. .

In the past he was linked to Premier League giants Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea as well as the likes of Inter Milan, Napoli and Roma.

Instead Tonali will sign a five-year contract at the club he grew up supporting.

Expert View

Let’s begin with that last point.

“It’s a good point to consider that Tonali was a Milan fan as a child,” says Eurosport Italy’s Stefano Silvestri.

“Surely this has helped Milan to win the race. And I also think that Inter have changed their strategy, in order to try to sign the experienced Arturo Vidal and/or N'Golo Kanté.

“He's not the new Pirlo.

“He plays in the same role, he is “born” in the same club, but he has different characteristics, more defensive. Tonali himself has said some time ago that ‘I'm a Gattuso with more quality’.

“My opinion is that, at least initially, [manager Stefano] Pioli will not change the formation and the personnel that have led Milan to the sixth position.

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“This means that Tonali will have to fight to find his place in the starting XI, having never played in a two-man midfield.”

Besides, he also has the backing of two of Italy's finest.

Andrea Pirlo said: “He’s the best centre mid in Serie A and much more complete than me.”

And Francesco Totti remarked: “He’ll become one of the world’s best midfielders. He has everything a great player should have – technically gifted, good mentality and sharp in any situation.”

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