Man Utd handed Sandro Tonali transfer blow as Brescia chief speaks out

Manchester United have seemingly missed out on midfield transfer target Sandro Tonali.

The Brescia youngster, 20, has earned comparisons to Italy legend Andrea Pirlo this season and is destined for a big move in the near future.

Inter have been the long-time favourites to land Tonali following his Serie A exploits.

However, Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claim United have arrived at the door and lodged a call to try and convince Brescia and Tonali to do business with them instead.

With an agreement already seemingly reached with Serie A sides though, it seems the Red Devils may have shown their interest too late.

And Brescia owner Massimo Celino all-but confirmed that this week, admitting he hasn't negotiated with any foreign sides.

"I appreciated the seriousness of [Milan technical director Paolo] Maldini, confirming the historic Milan. I don't want to add more to be inappropriate," he told Sky Sport on Friday.

"[Inter chief executive Giuseppe] Marotta has always confirmed the strong interest … I have always avoided negotiations with other clubs, especially foreign ones.

"But the boy needs to know what his future is. So, I'm not in a hurry, but he is, and it seems more than justified to me."

Tonali has caught the eye in Serie A, prompting players, past and present, to laud him with praise of late.

"Tonali, the first time I watched him, his passing [stood out]," former Torino, Palermo, Juve, Fiorentina and Roma full-back Federico Balzaretti said.

"His idea, to pass and to play vertical. He is totally different to Andrea Pirlo but he could play together with Pirlo. It would be a great, great partnership because he is more physical maybe than Pirlo.

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"What Andrea has is a light interior and a vision to map the field, to play under pressure and understand one or two times before other players. Tonali doesn't have that yet.

"But of course, Tonali is a great character. His defensive numbers are very high in the league. When you watch him after 10-15 minutes, you say okay he will be a national team player for the next 15 years.

"It's impressive. I watched him three years ago, he is very young. It's unbelievable. He is an incredible player. He is ready to play for a top, top club in Europe – if it's Juventus, Inter, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, I don't know, it doesn't matter. He is ready for the next step."

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