Tonali was greeted by a throng of Italian media who were eager to hear his words and he didn’t disappoint.
Asked about settling in on Tyneside Tonali had this to say “After the first match I felt at ease. I was happier thanks to Howe and the whole team. They have really helped me and with my personal life.
My team-mates have been amazing. Especially with the language. Understanding and communicating with the others. Everything changes after moving to the Premier League”.
Naturally his fellow countrymen wanted to hear his thoughts on turning out at the San Siro in black and white rather than black and red and he answered in the only way he could having spent the previous three seasons there in what he described at the time as his dream move.
“As I said, I think I'm going to feel the emotion tomorrow at 90 per cent. Today it's at 10 per cent. I've met some people I'm familiar with at Milan and have been in touch with them. It's hard emotions because they don't happen all the time in football. They're special and I'll remember them forever. This is the team I support and the team that gave me a chance to succeed. Things have completely changed. I am here as a rival, I have to manage that but it won't be a problem”.
On the game at hand Tonali had this to say “Tomorrow's game will be intense. A tight game. We want to respond to the intensity Milan will display.
I don't think you can judge a team on one game so Milan lost the derby, but it cannot be solely judged on that”.
He was also asked to say who he thought his father, a lifelong Milan supporter would be rooting for tomorrow and at this point Tonali junior played his diplomatic card as much to protect his father than anything else; family harmony being the operative word no doubt.
“I don't know who he will support. I don't want to be in his head, but I think he will take care of me! I hope he will support me but it's very difficult to change a supporter's mind about their team.
I think he will support Milan and support me. Maybe he will want a draw?”
And having heard that a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic had paid a visit to the Milan training complex this morning Tonali had this to say: He [Zlatan] and his good mood is contagious. He is one of the most experienced players. He can transfer good vibes to young people. Very spontaneous and authentic. He doesn't prepare, he just does what he feels”. Who would have guessed!