Sandro Tonali as he prepares to return to the Champions League

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Saudi-backed Newcastle have spent a lot of money signing Sandro Tonali from AC Milan on Monday and taking the midfielder from the club he cheered for as a child.

The Italian international has joined the club for an undisclosed fee and has signed a contract until 2028, the club said. The cost reportedly amounts to up to 60 million pounds ($76.3 million).

“He has great talent and he has the mental, physical and technical characteristics that are very suitable for us,” Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said. “Not only does Sandro, 23, already have important experience as a major player in one of the best leagues in Europe and in the Champions League, he also plays for his country.

“But he also has the opportunity and potential to grow and develop with us, and I’m excited to add him to our team ahead of the exciting season.”

Newcastle are preparing to return to the Champions League after winning their first European club football Elite berth since 2003.

Tonali was part of Milan’s 2022 Italian League winners. Former Brescia made 14 appearances for his country.

“First of all, I want to thank Newcastle United. Because Newcastle United are giving me a big chance in my career,” Tonali said. “I want to repay the trust on the pitch, giving my everything as I’ve always done. I’m really excited to play at St James’ Park, I can’t wait to feel the warmth of the fans.” 스포츠토토

Tonali also sent messages to Milan fans via Instagram.

“I understand that this farewell can cause mixed feelings. And that’s normal when you leave a big piece of your mind behind,” he wrote. “But it’s important to remember that change in life as well as in football sometimes brings growth to everyone.”

“I hope this is not goodbye but ‘arrived Derby’ (see you again),” Tonali added.”

Tonali is Newcastle’s first major to join this offseason as Howe aims to create a team that can compete in the Premier League and Europe.

Newcastle are also linked with a move for Southampton full-back Tino Libraamento and a potential loan from Manchester City midfielder Calvin Phillips and Chelsea’s Connor Gallagher.

Gambia forward Jankuba Minte, 18, joined from Danish side Odense but will spend a year on loan at Dutch club Feyenoord.

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