Newcastle’s Tonali could face three-year ban

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Newcastle United and Italy midfielder Sandro Tonali has now admitted to betting on AC Milan whilst playing for the club amongst other offences, and faces a lengthy ban, according to Ben Jacobs.

The Magpies return to action this weekend in the Premier League when they host Crystal Palace at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon, however, it is looking likely that Tonali will not be returning to the pitch following the international break scandal that has unravelled.

The 23-year-old Champions League semi-finalist was the marquee signing for Newcastle United this summer and agreed a five-year deal in the £55m move from Milan to the North East, quickly becoming a popular and trusted feature in Eddie Howe’s midfield set-up alongside Bruno Guimaraes, Sean Longstaff and Joelinton.

However, after being involved in and securing a monumental victory on home turf against Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League and taking a draw away from the London Stadium, the dizzying highs have turned into new lows for the Italian talent.

What’s the latest on Tonali’s gambling investigation?

There have been conflicting reports about the nature of Tonali’s gambling and last week the player’s agent spoke out to reveal that the Newcastle star has been suffering from a gambling addiction, but it has not until now been confirmed that he was indeed betting on football matches, including ones he was involved in during his time in Italy.

CBS reporter Ben Jacobs has taken to Twitter to give further details about the situation and what the punishment is likely to be:

“Sandro Tonali has admitted to betting on Milan to win matches after his agent Beppe Riso revealed he has a gambling addiction. He will receive support from the Italian FA. #NUFC yet to comment.”

“Maximum punishment is a three-year ban, but likely to be reduced to 12 months.”

What is Tonali’s wage?

At time of writing, Newcastle have not released an official statement on Tonali’s future at the club or their plans going forward for their player, but it is expected in due course and expected to have a huge affect on the squad going forward.

Howe will have Joelinton, Bruno Guimaraes, Sean Longstaff, Joe Willock and Elliot Anderson to lean on when putting together his midfield set-up in Tonali’s absence, but will have to consider that for at least the next 12 months he will not have the Italian at his disposal which will be a setback in the plans for the club and the team going forward.

The Newcastle boss has been a huge fan of his new signing’s impact and influence in the centre of the pitch since his arrival, waxing lyrical earlier this season about the £120k-per-week dynamo’s instant connection with his teammates (via Premier League):

“I’m delighted with his overall performance. He knitted into the midfield very well. He’s built a really good relationship with Bruno [Guimaraes] and the players on the right-hand side. You can see how good he can be.”

At present, both Joelinton and Willock have been sidelined with injuries but the pair are expected to return to action after the international break and Newcastle fans will be hopeful that Howe will have good news on that front when he takes to his pre-match press conference later this week.

With that being said, Tonali’s suspension from football will be a massive blow for Howe, however, the former Bournemouth boss will know the quality and consistency that his other midfielders can provide following an incredible campaign last season.

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