Tonali explains decision to leave Milan: “I hope one day to be able to return”

By Oliver Fisher -

Sandro Tonali has revealed all regarding his transfer to Newcastle United as he spoke to journalists shortly after the move was completed.

The decision to sell Tonali to Newcastle certainly generated a fiery reaction from a fan base that had already bid farewell to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paolo Maldini not long before.

We asked James Horncastle from The Athletic on our latest podcast episode about how Tonali’s record-breaking move actually came about, and he remarked how the deal couldn’t have taken place unless the player wanted to go.

The move was officially announced on Monday and yesterday Tonali was in Newcastle for the first time to see the stadium and have his photoshoot. He is now back in Italy, and our colleagues at were there for his arrival at Linate airport.

What are your first feelings after the move?

“Positive. I met and met people who wanted me at all costs. They were as positive as they were before I got there.”

What kind of choice was it?

“The most difficult choice of my career but which had to be made now. Milan welcomed me like a son and I will thank them for the rest of my life, I will never forget this.

“I love all my team-mates and old ones, he will always be their fan because they are golden people. A choice I had to make and I made it at the right time.”

Did Paolo Maldini’s exit have an impact?

“Maldini is a very important role model. He helped me, especially in the first year, and took me in his arms. This year the paths have divided but he will remain our great help for all the players, who knows Milan better than him and stays with the players?

“I’ll thank him forever. Even as a director, he knew very well how to distinguish the two roles. We were serene even when he left.”

Leao said he was surprised that you left…

“I spoke to Rafa before the news and it’s normal that they didn’t expect this, but as intelligent people they understood and he himself wishes me the best.”

In an interview with Corriere della Sera you said you would never make the mistake of leaving Milan. What changed?

“It’s been a long summer. Our decision doesn’t come from this season, but from these three seasons. I hope one day to be able to return to Milan and see the fans smiling.”

Tags AC Milan Sandro Tonali


  1. I hope he goes to NU as a “loanee” and will get back to Milan as better player than ever. Wish him all the best! Grazie Sandro.

    I feel sad but it had to be done. The same feeling when Kaka went to Madrid

  2. He moved for money. A player that doesn’t want to leave won’t leave. He wanted more money. That’s all it is. Shame really.

    I really won’t say anything more, but I really wonder about whether he truly was ever committed to this team as we were led to believe. Newcastle is a joke.

    1. Correction he moved for Milan to get money he just happened to get a good deal as well.
      Lets not try to pretend that Cardinale and co didn’t tell him thats a lot of money and he should accept the deal as it benefits Milan and fills their pockets.
      Ofc he wont say it now or anytime soon but years from now when Cardinale ie gone he might share what happened in his talk with the management regarding the deal.

      1. And yet Origi can just say “nah, I’m not listening to any offers” and that’s a player the club is DESPERATE to get rid of. LOL. But Sandro “Jesus” Tonali can do no wrong.

    2. Newcastle a joke ?
      A joke that took Tonali from his boyhood club easily and stopped you getting Botman .
      Milan is a big club in history only compared to English Premier league clubs financially milan are no bigger than Bournemouth.

      1. last time they won an english championship is in 1927 if i remember correctly so sure its an upgrade dumbo.

        1. Not sure what past trophies have to do with a current player’s financial wellbeing. Pretty much every player makes choices based on income. Otherwise PSG, City and Chelsea of 15 years ago wouldn’t have been able to sign anyone. Many players choose mid-table PL clubs all the time over clubs like ours because they pay 2-3x more. Now everyone is going to Saudi Arabia. Lots of “history” there. I understand that stories like Tonali’s make certain fans feel good, but the reality is everything is driven by money.

          1. Regardless of money there is no caomparison between milan and newcastle its downright ridiculous to compare those two clubs regardless if one is more rich nowadays,
            If people has the view that money runs the world why support one club and not just move along and support one of the clubs you mentioned.
            Personally if i was a pro fotballer id rather put a gun to my head than join a sadi arabian club as i simply wouldnt support such a corrupt and depraved country that doesnt give a damn about human rights.
            Loyalty and honor goes beyond money and if people disagree then there really is no reason to support any club that isnt super rich,
            Money means nothing and its not like tonali hadnt already earned more money than normal people will do in a lifetime had he run the contract down.

    3. Davide Calabria is the only one committed to AC Milan, know this and know peace.

      But u all will still end up criticising him, calling him names. Milan fans are awkward, awful and ungrateful.

    4. I really don’t get this loyalty thing that we expect from players they are professional and of course they try to make a move that is in their best interest. We are expecting loyalty from them while if he had a really bad season or injury I bet our club would try to move him…

    1. As much as I believe in RLC, it’s not an upgrade at all. First, they play different. Second, RLC was first approached by Maldini when we still had Tonali and Isma (pre injury). RLC was meant to complete our mid, not to replace our key player(s). And that’s a BIG BIG difference.

  3. Players don’t usually say they plan on leaving the club when they just joined the club. But here Tonali say he plan to rejoin Milan (leaving newcastle) just few days after joining newcastle. 🙃

    1. No no he left solely for money /s lol. I watched the interview and body language was everything. He didn’t even look happy when talking about Newcastle 🤦‍♂️. I’m trying to think as a fan of I were playing for Milan and I see an idol like Paolo get ousted the way he did, man I’d be pretty pissed too. It’s almost like he’s gonna make this quick money and hopefully the current management can be gone in a few years to return

  4. Question:
    Did Paolo Maldini’s exit have an impact?

    “Maldini is a very important role model. He helped me, especially in the first year, and took me in his arms. This year the paths have divided but he will remain our great help for all the players, who knows Milan better than him and stays with the players?

    “I’ll thank him forever. Even as a director, he knew very well how to distinguish the two roles. We were serene even when he left.”

    1. How dare you use the player’s words to support your point lol 😂
      Maldini’s impact is sooooo underrated. Don’t let the comments section fool you otherwise. They have a major problem next year. No Paolo, No Ibra. It’s all on Pioli

      1. Well, don’t worry, St. Pioli is indeed the center of our project, as mentioned by the management. After all, they need someone to blame in the end.

        1. Thank you for providing us with that one sentence and no context as in the other two paragraphs Nino wrote ,🤦‍♂️

  5. I fear for him at Newcastle.

    Huge expectations and a lack of connection with the fans will mean that if he performs at anywhere near the level he performed this season i.e. badly, then he’ll be finished.

    1. Some people will see that as a blessing in disguise. As he can “return” at a 75% discount in two years.¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

  6. The perfect thing would be Tonali to play on purpose bad or average so that he would be sold back to Milan for a split of the total price

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