Saturday, July 24, 2021

Milan seal Tonali deal, Pioli says Kessie is happy at San Siro

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Jul 2021

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Milan have completed the signing of Sandro Tonali on a five-year deal from Brescia.

The midfielder spent last season on loan with the Rossoneri, making 37 appearances for Stefano Pioli’s side.

Milan had the option to buy the 21-year-old and on Thursday confirmed an agreement has been struck with the Serie B club.

Pioli earlier stated that the club must strengthen their squad to be a force next season and Franck Kessie is happy at San Siro amid speculation over his future.

The Rossoneri finished second in Serie A last seaon but have since seen Gianluigi Donnarumma depart at the end of his contract and Hakan Calhanoglu join city rivals Inter.

Fikayo Tomori returned to San Siro in a permanent deal from Chelsea and Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan replaced Italy international Donnarumma.

Milan head coach Pioli wants more new faces to take the club to another level, but knows he will have to be patient.

He said in a press conference on Thursday: “The club and all of us want Milan to be competitive, we need to give continuity to our work, we want to improve the quality of our players and raise the level of the team.

“We start today on July 8, I would prefer to have the whole squad today but I know that the market is long.

“It is clear that both the club and I want to make Milan a competitive team, giving continuity to what we are doing.

“Our journey started a year and a half ago and we want to grow further. To do this we know we must try to improve the level of the team.”

Ivory Coast midfielder Kessie is in the final year of his contract and has been linked with the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham but Pioli is not concerned about losing the 24-year-old.

Asked about the prospect of Kessie signing a new deal, he said: “These are club things. We all know how important Franck is and how happy he is to be at Milan.

“Franck has grown a lot, we talk about him but the others have also grown. He can still do a lot, both I and the club know how important Franck is, I have already heard it. First he rested, then married, now he will go with the national team.”

Pioli says there is no point in Milan dwelling on losing Donnarumma, who is set to join PSG, or Calhanoglu.

He added: “We have to look forward and not back. I am attached to them for what they did last year, but now we are only thinking about the new season.”

Milan returned to training on Thursday but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not expected to join in with the group for a couple of weeks as he recovers from knee surgery.

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