'When he asks to leave, I will let him go' - Juventus & Inter target Tonali set for summer transfer

Sandro Tonali BresciaGetty Images

Brescia owner Massimo Cellino insists he will sanction Sandro Tonali's departure if the midfielder "asks to leave", but would prefer a prized asset to join either Roma or Napoli over Juventus or Inter.

Tonali's meteoric rise to prominence since graduating to Brescia's senior squad in 2017 has been remarkable and, at the age of just 19, he already has three Italy caps to his name.

The teenager played a key role in his side's successful promotion campaign in Serie B last season, contributing three goals and seven assists in 34 outings.

Unfortunately, Diego Lopez's side are now facing the prospect of a swift return to Italy's second tier, after struggling to adapt to the rigours of top-flight football.

Brescia are currently bottom of Serie A and nine points adrift of safety, with only 12 matches of the 2019-20 season left to play.

However, despite playing in a side devoid of confidence and lacking in quality, Tonali has still managed to prove he has what it takes to play at the highest level.

The Italy international has carried Brescia through a number of games almost single-handedly, while showing off his outstanding passing range, technical ability and accuracy from dead-ball positions.

Naturally, Tonali is attracting interest from some of the biggest names in European football, and has been tipped to move on to pastures new when the transfer market reopens.

It has been reported that Brescia may decide to cash in on an influential figure if they receive a suitable offer, as the midfielder approaches the final year of his current contract at Stadio Mario Rigamonti.

Juventus and Inter have been heavily linked with Tonali in recent months, and Cellino says he is willing to accept whatever the playmaker "chooses with the heart" when it comes to his future.

"My dream would be to keep Tonali. I would be willing to do somersaults," the Brescia chief told Tuttosport.

"But I have a deal with Sandro, who is a golden boy. He knows that when he asks me to leave, I will let him go. It is not a question of price, the important thing is that Tonali chooses with the heart, and it is only he who decides.

"I'd like to see him in Rome or Napoli. But that will be difficult. I would prefer him to remain in Italy anyway."

Pressed on whether the Allianz Stadium or San Siro could be Tonali's next destination, Cellino responded by comparing him to a Barcelona legend: "It will depend on Tonali, he will choose. But I hope he stays in Italy. He must become another [Andres] Iniesta."

Cellino also revealed that Brescia received a formal offer for Tonali from a club in the Champions League in January, but they were unwilling to do business mid-way through the season.

"In January, a very important team came to me telling me that they wanted Tonali. I didn't discuss numbers, but only asked one question: 'Would you let him play straight away in the Champions League?'

"They said: 'We would leave him in Brescia until the end of the season.'

"I told them: 'Thanks, but I'll keep him completely for the moment and we'll talk about it in July'".