Italian wonderkid Sandro Tonali could have ended Chelsea's hopes of signing the midfielder after admitting he supports Milan, and idolises club legends Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso.

The 18-year-old was linked with moves away from Italian minnows Brescia Calcio throughout the summer but opted against joining one of Europe's biggest sides.


Having just received his first senior national team call-up, Tonali hinted that a move to Serie A outfit Milan could be on the cards, as well as admitting that snubbing the continent's best clubs during the summer was important for his development.

"The first days [with the national team] were very positive, they all put me at ease, they are all happy for this call," Tonali told Calciomercato.

"The right choice was to stay in Brescia, at 17 it was difficult to play in Europe.

"The Pirlo comparisons? He inspired me but I’ve never seen another like him. Maybe my hair is similar. My role model was Gattuso in terms of grit. 

"Who did I support growing up? Milan."

Tonali has become one of the hottest prospects in Europe thanks to his performances with second division side Brescia. This season, the defensive midfielder has already been directly involved in five goals in just 11 appearances.

The teenager has a contract at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti until 2021 and could even stay for an extra year due to a clause in his deal.


However, many expect that Tonali will be poached by one of Europe's financial powerhouses next summer, with Chelsea and Milan among a host of clubs currently looking to secure the youngster's signature.