Premier League leaders Liverpool have reportedly opened negotiations with Italian outfit Brescia, as they look to sign teenage sensation Sandro Tonali.
Liverpool have taken the first step towards securing the signing of 18-year-old midfield prodigy Sandro Tonali, by opening talks with the teenager’s club Brescia, according to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira of La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Having come through the youth ranks at Brescia, Tonali broke into the senior team last season and went on to make a solid impression, chalking up 2 goals and 2 assists from 19 Serie B outings. He has started the 2018-19 campaign on a strong note as well, scoring twice and setting up five more in 19 games, helping Brescia to the second spot in the league.
Tonali’s rapid rise with the Serie B outfit saw him break into the Italy U-19 national team last year, for whom he has gone on to make 11 appearances. The midfielder was handed his first senior call-up by Italy manager Roberto Mancini for the fixtures against Portugal and USA in November, but he did not feature in either matches.
#Liverpool has opened talks for Sandro #Tonali. Reds scout has watched him in #BresciaSpezia today. Cellino wants for the young midfielder (born in 2000) €35M. Roma, Juventus, Milan and Inter also heavily interested for the next season. #transfers #LFC
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) January 27, 2019
Tonali’s rise to fame with Brescia has put a number of clubs on alert, with Liverpool being chief among them. The Reds have been watching the 18-year-old for some time now and had previously made known of their interest to Brescia president Massimo Cellino as well. In fact, the Reds’ scouts were in audience as Tonali scored in Brescia’s 4-4 draw against Spezia this past weekend.
Liverpool are not the only club interested in signing the prodigy, with fellow Premier League rivals Chelsea also monitoring the 18-year-old keenly, while Serie A heavyweights Juventus and Roma have also been following his progress, along with both the Milan clubs.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp isn’t particularly keen on making new signings in the ongoing transfer window. But with interest mounting in the teenage sensation with every passing game, the Reds are prepared to make an offer and to that end, have begun negotiations with Brescia.
Dubbed as the new ‘Andrea Pirlo’, Tonali is a deep-lying playmaker who is known for his range of distribution and the ability to control the tempo of games from the middle of the park. The 18-year-old can also play in an advanced role in midfield and has demonstrated the knack of splitting open defences with his excellent vision.
The 18-year-old’s contract with Brescia runs till the summer of 2022, with the club having the option of extending it by a further year. However, the Serie B side are believed to be open to a sale, should their €35 million (£30 million) valuation of the player be met.
Liverpool have taken the lead in the race for Tonali by launching a formal approach for his signing. But, it remains to be seen if they are successful in their bid to land the prodigy or if he ends up moving elsewhere. One thing seems certain though – Tonali won’t be a Brescia player for much longer.