Former Man City boss reveals ‘some problems’ with Sandro Tonali’s transfer to Newcastle United

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Sandro Tonali is expected to official complete his move to Newcastle United before the end of the week.

Italy manager Roberto Mancini has mixed emotions about Sandro Tonali’s imminent move to Newcastle United.

Magpies sporting director Dan Ashworth and head of recruitment Steve Nickson flew to Milan last week and negotiated a reported £60million transfer fee with the Serie A giants.

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Nickson then travelled to Romania on Friday, where the midfielder is currently based with Italy under-21s at the European Championships, with Tonali’s agents Giuseppe Riso and Marianna Mecacci.

Tonali is understood to have agreed a six-year contract worth £6.8m plus bonuses per season and is expected to be officially announced as Newcastle’s first summer signing before the end of the week.

The 23-year-old’s exit from his boyhood club - just weeks after club legend Paolo Maldini was sacked as technical director - has outraged large sections of the AC Milan fanbase.

Italy manager Roberto Mancini. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)Italy manager Roberto Mancini. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Italy manager Roberto Mancini. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Indeed, Mancini “regrets” seeing Tonali leave Italy and believes his departure “means there are some problems”. He did, however, admit a move to the Premier League is a good step.

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“On the one hand, there are some regrets,” Mancini said when asked about Tonali’s transfer. “If a player as good and young as Tonali leaves Italy it means there are some problems.

“On a technical level though, playing in the Premier League will serve Tonali well, it’s good for him.”

All of Tonali’s 14 senior Italy caps have come during Mancini’s five-year tenure.

The 58-year-old lifted the Premier League title with Manchester City in 2011-12 before overseeing Italy’s Euro 2020 win at the expense of England at Wembley.

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