Chelsea will reportedly have to battle Serie A champions Juventus for the signing of midfielder Sandro Tonali, who has been dubbed as ‘the new Andrea Pirlo’.
According to a report from Italian publication Calciomercato, Chelsea will face serious competition from Juventus in their pursuit of 18-year-old Italian wonderkid Sandro Tonali.
Tonali, who plies his trade for Serie B side Brescia, is making all the right noises in the Italian second division. Having come through the youth ranks at the club, the midfielder broke into the first-team last season and went on to make a solid impression, chalking up returns of 2 goals and 2 assists from his 19 Serie B outings.
The 18-year-old has started the 2018-19 campaign on a strong note as well, already registering 3 assists in 8 games thus far. His rapid rise with the Serie B outfit saw him break into the Italy U-19 national team earlier this year, for whom he has racked up 11 appearances now and was recently called up to the Azzurri’s U-21 setup.
Dubbed as ‘the new Andrea Pirlo’, who also came through the youth ranks at Brescia, Tonali usually operates in the holding midfield position, dictating the tempo of the game with his range of passing, while also possessing a great burst of pace, that allows him to push up the field when needed.
Tonali’s rise to fame with Brescia has put a number of clubs on alert, none more so than Chelsea. The Blues’ manager Maurizio Sarri was keen on signing the 18-year-old back when he was still in charge of Napoli last season and has continued to monitor the youngster’s progress since moving to England this summer.
Chelsea were believed to have sent scouts to watch Tonali in action earlier this month, when he grabbed two assists against Padova as Brescia ran out 4-1 winners. And, having been heavily impressed by the midfielder’s performance, they are considering making an offer in the January transfer window.
However, they will now have to battle reigning Serie A champions Juventus, who are also understood to be intent on signing the 18-year-old. The Bianconeri are long-term admirers of Tonali and have been keeping an eye on him for a while now. They are believed to be increasingly confident of beating Chelsea to his signing in the winter transfer window.
Tonali, who is valued at £20 million, has three years left on his current contract with Brescia, with the club having an option of extending it by another year. However, if the bigwigs come calling in January, they are likely to be open to cashing in on their prized asset. It remains to be seen, however, if Chelsea are able to get their hands on the prodigy or if Juventus beat them to his capture.