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Newcastle United have signed Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali from AC Milan on a five-year contract until 2028, the Premier League club said on Monday.

No financial details were disclosed but it has been reported that the transfer fee is €70 million ($76.28m) with add-ons.

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“First of all, I want to thank Newcastle United because they are giving me a huge opportunity for my career,” Tonali said in a statement. “I want to repay the trust on the pitch, giving it my all, as I always have.”

The fee will make Tonali the most expensive Italian player of all time while it is also a record transfer for Milan, eclipsing the €68m deal from Real Madrid for Brazilian midfielder Kaka in 2009.

Once seen as Italy great Andrea Pirlo’s heir, 23-year-old Tonali helped guide Milan to their first Serie A title in 11 years in the 2021-22 season and he was a key figure in their run to the Champions League semifinals last season.

A versatile midfielder, Tonali played more games than any other Milan player last season, clocking up nearly 4,000 minutes across all competitions.

Although Milan coach Stefano Pioli experimented with different formations last season, Tonali was a constant in central midfield as they managed to finish in the top four to continue playing in Europe’s elite competition next season.

Tonali has 14 senior caps for Italy but did not make the squad for the UEFA Nations League finals where they finished third.

Newcastle qualified for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years after a top-four finish under manager Eddie Howe.

Tonali will be their second summer recruit after 18-year-old Gambia forward Yankuba Minteh was signed from Danish side Odense Boldklub.

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Newcastle sign Sandro Tonali from AC Milan on five-year deal