Sandro Tonali has discussed his feelings after making his move to AC Milan a permanent one, as well as the rumours that he accepted a pay cut.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport among other sources, as cited by MilanNews, Tonali agreed to take a pay cut from €1.6m per year to €1.2m in order to stay at the club, which says a lot about his personality.
After a long negotiation, Sandro Tonali’s dream of staying at Milan has finally come true: he is now in all respects a Rossoneri player. To help the Diavolo find an agreement with Brescia, the young midfielder also reduced his salary, something that La Gazzetta asked him about during their interview with the Italy U21 international.
“Why did I do it? Because the desire to stay at Milan came first. The terms of the redemption from Brescia had expired and we were starting from scratch: for me it was important to take a step towards Milan,” he said (via MilanNews).
“There were other clubs, even with higher salaries to offer, but I am happy here. Every player thinks differently. Some think about career and ambition, others about money. I believe that being well in a team is essential. At Milan I can achieve all my goals, I can have everything in the club where I am happy.”
His first season in the Rossoneri was not easy as he often alternated encouraging performances with ones where he struggled, but Tonali is confident that the next campaign will be better.
“You will see the real Tonali this year. What has changed? Quite simply, I have grown by a year. Inside and off the pitch, a fundamental aspect. Let’s start again with the advantage of knowing each other, us players and the coach. What does not change are the goals: we always aim high.
“Last season I could certainly have done better. It was not my best year, also because it was particular, complicated: Covid stopped me almost immediately, it took me a while to get started. This year it will be another story, even if I know I have to improve: there are no arrival points, yes It always grows.
“Criticism? When I don’t play or train, read, watch a movie. It’s not easy to stay waterproof but I try, both with criticism and praise. There will always be people who don’t like me, and that’s right, you can’t please everyone.”
Tonali was also asked about the impact that Stefano Pioli has had on him so far, a man who has been credited with helping the development of various young players.
“What relationship do I have with Pioli? Very nice, he’s like a father. We are young, he knows which strings to touch, he knows us thoroughly. We work a lot in the department, we analyse the games played and prepare the next ones: we are really united.”
Regarding targets for next season, Milan will aim even higher next season, according to Tonali himself: “If we will fight for the first place in Serie A? Yes. We are all fighting together, for the same goal. The team’s thinking is unique.
“Champions League? We want to go as far as possible. Let’s go back after so many years of absence and we know it won’t be easy, but we are Milan. Europe is our home.”