Italy and Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali insists he is not intimidated by his €300m price tag
Italy sensation Sandro Tonali has insisted that he is "not scared" by the €300 million valuation placed on him by Brescia owner and president Massimo Cellino, adding that his focus is presently on the club despite heavy interest from varied European powerhouses such as Manchester United and Manchester City.
Tonali emerged as one of the most sought-after teenagers in world football after playing an influential role in Brescia's promotion to Serie A last season. The playmaker has since been compared to legends like Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso, and Daniele De Rossi.
The 19-year-old's exploits in Serie B garnered much attention and soon earned him a call-up from the Azzurri. He made his international debut with the senior team last month when he came on as a substitute in Italy's 5–0 away win against Liechtenstein in Vaduz.
The Brescia star has been heavily linked with Italian clubs like Inter, Roma, and Fiorentina as well as non-Italian sides such as Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, and Manchester United.
Cellino recently declared that it would take an eye-watering €300 million for the club to part with the teenager.
When asked about his hefty price-tag, Tonali told Rai Sport via AS,
"I love President Cellino very much and he rates me highly. He's a great person and I hope to travel down a good road with him.
"After the match against Fiorentina, he said he wouldn't even sell me for €300m, but that doesn't scare me, even if it really is a lot of money.
"I'm confident about what we'll do this season. For now, I'm not thinking about the market, I just want to help Brescia stay up."
On the comparisons to Pirlo and Gattuso, the teenager commented,
"Being compared to Pirlo doesn't bother me, but I think we're very different because he had indescribable technique and quality.
"I consider myself to be like Gattuso but more technical. He's always been, my role model."
If Tonali maintains his form, it will only be a matter of time until a European giant will come knocking on Brescia's door.
Italy are next scheduled to face Bosnia and Herzegovina in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Friday night and it remains to be seen if Robert Mancini will give Tonali a start.