Soccer, Italian Serie A: Hellas Verona Vs AC Milan
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'Inspired': 22-year-old who Liverpool previously wanted to sign now says he absolutely loves Thiago

AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali has said that he is inspired by Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport as transcribed by Milan News, Tonali declared the Liverpool man as his midfield role model.

“I will improve, I am inspired by Thiago Alcantara,” Tonali said fresh from winning the Serie A title with Milan.

Still only twenty-two, Tonali was long-linked with a move to The Reds before finally joining Milan in 2020.

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Liverpool miss their chance on Tonali

It was over three years ago now that Liverpool were rumoured to be tracking Tonali. Back then, few Liverpool fans would have heard of the teenager lighting up Serie B with Brescia.

But it seems The Reds had identified him as a future star. Speaking to Corriere dello Sport in January 2019, Brescia owner Massimo Cellino insisted that Liverpool had been in contact to take the teenager to Anfield.

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“I want to keep the guy as much as possible,” said Cellino at the time. “Is he ready? I don’t know, he’s 18 years old. A little while ago, however, Liverpool also contacted me.”

Tonali ended up staying at Brescia another 18 months before moving on to Milan. Despite his early struggles, he has really blossomed this year as the Rossoneri won the Scudetto for the first time since 2011.

The Italy international played in 36 of Milan’s 38 games, starting 31 times. He scored five times in that time, including a crucial last-gasp winner away to Lazio in April.

ROME, ITALY – 2022/04/24: Milan’s Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A football match between SS Lazio and AC Milan. Milan won 2-1. (Photo by Antonio Balasco/KONTROLAB/LightRocket via Getty Images)

There’s no indication that Liverpool are interested in pursuing Tonali again at this point. He is crucial to Milan and would command a pretty hefty fee, if they were let him go at all.

Liverpool do need a midfielder though, and Tonali is obviously keeping an eye on at least one of Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

By all accounts he’s a boyhood Milan fan though. On this one, it looks like The Reds missed their chance.

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