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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 22 April 2021

Liverpool target 18-year-old Italian prospect Tonali, but face competition from Roma

Brescia president Massimo Cellino said leading sides in England and Italy have enquired after the teenager.

Sandro Tonali in action for Italy's U19s.
Sandro Tonali in action for Italy's U19s.

LIVERPOOL HAVE ASKED about Brescia’s highly-rated midfielder Sandro Tonali, but club president Massimo Cellino has revealed that the Reds face competition from Roma.

The 18-year-old has emerged as one of the most sought-after prospects in European football.

His potential has been noted by sides across the continent, with Chelsea and Juventus among those monitoring his development. It has been suggested that an offer of around €28 million could be enough to tempt Brescia into a sale.

Cellino has offered no indication that is the case, with there a desire on the part of the Serie B side’s president to keep a prized asset in his current surroundings.

Italy: Ascoli v Brescia - Serie B The midfielder has attracted attention from a host of Europe's top clubs. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Interest is building, though, with the likes of Liverpool preparing more formal approaches after previously watching on from afar.

Cellino told Corriere dello Sport of a transfer scramble which could soon be sparked for a player being billed as ‘the new Andrea Pirlo’: “Yes, Roma have asked me about Tonali.

I’ve talked about him to [Roma director Mauro] Baldissoni several times, but I want to keep the lad as long as possible. Is he ready? I don’t know, he’s 18. But Liverpool also contacted me a little while ago.”

Tonali made his senior debut for Brescia in August 2017 as a 17-year-old. He scored his first competitive goal towards the end of the 2017-18 campaign and has remained a regular in the side under Eugenio Corini.

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Italy: Ascoli v Brescia - Serie B Tonali and Lorenzo Rosseti of Ascoli Calcio 1898 FC battle for the ball. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The speculation surrounding his future has not gone unnoticed, and Tonali recently revealed that he is a fan of Serie A heavyweights at San Siro.

He said: “I was an AC Milan fans as a child, as I have always said, but I am not thinking about the future. I am inspired by Gattuso, by his determination. He always gave everything. I would like to do the same myself. I would like to be coached by him.

“Pirlo comparisons? I feel good playing in any midfield position. I mostly play as the playmaker but I have no problem playing on the sides of the midfield. My dream? Going to t Serie A with Brescia.”

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