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…”