Leao explains surprise at Tonali’s Newcastle move: “I didn’t expect him to leave”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan winger Rafael Leao has expressed his surprise that Sandro Tonali left the club to join Newcastle United.

Milan confirmed on their official website yesterday that Tonali has completed his move to Newcastle. The club thanked the midfielder for the ‘three splendid years together’ and wished him ‘the very best in his professional and personal future’.

The midfielder published an emotional statement and suggested he might be back one day, while Fabrizio Romano reports that it is a €70m deal with add-ons included making him a club-record sale for the Rossoneri and the most expensive Italian player ever.

Leao has published an interview on his YouTube channel in which he answers questions, and one of them was about Tonali’s move to the Premier League.

“He is an important player for us, I didn’t expect him to leave. He made the difference in midfield, I saw him as Gattuso’s heir because he’s been a Milan fan since he was a child, he was someone I would see at Milan for many years,” he said.

“We have a good relationship, I wish him good luck for the U21 Euros [the video was recorded a few days ago] and much success in his new adventure.”

It was made official recently that Leao will be taking the No.10 shirt made vacant after Brahim Diaz’s departure, shifting from the No.17 he wore before.

“It’s an important number, a number that brings you responsibilities. After four years at the club, being able to use such an important number… I also want to give my all as a way of thanking my club, which gives me the opportunity to use it and have the responsibility to help my team,” he said.

Finally, the Portuguese winger was asked who his favourite team-mates are among those he sees daily at Milanello.

“I’m fine with everyone… Bennacer, Alexis, Bakayoko, Maignan, Adli, Ballo-Touré…”

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao Sandro Tonali


    1. Tonali was ‘forced out’ the minute Newcastle offered to triple his salary, how coincidental.

      I think truth is a bit between everything, not everything’s so black and white.

      1. It might be correct but it could easily be a smoke screen as well so even though im not saying that you specifically are just eating up the words as you are clearly saying it might be something inbetween people really should take that athletic article with a a grain of salt if not a ton of it,
        Tonali clearly would have liked to stay with us as the article from yesterday was kinda self contradicting in some of its points.

  1. There was a little problem and Tonali had to go.
    He was actually Italian and therefore he is not allowed to play for AC MILAN.

  2. Tonali will be missed because he is italian. Because he loves Milan.

    He was sold for double his value, even more keeping in mind the 10%. In the end, he agreed personal terms within days of the approach, so while I do feel love for him I do think the financial part swayed him pretty quickly. Hope he comes back at one point

    1. double his value hahaha please dont make up things, his valuation is roughly 50 mil and we sold him for 70 mil including bonuses included so the base price is below 70 mil and we will have to send around 15-20 % in brescias direction, in fact we have sold an important player pretty much at scrastch if not below valuation because we also spend 20 mil to get him.
      Its a downright preposterous claim to say we sold him for the double of his valuation.
      Those at the helm of the club should be ashamed of themselves for this deal and better not run into me in the coming years because vene though im not a hooligan i still dfo belive in some kind of retribution.

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