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Newcastle braced for Tonali’s potential 10-month ban

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Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie has revealed that the Italian Football Federation are set to conclude their investigation into Sandro Tonali’s gambling and will likely present the midfielder with a 1o-month ban.

Newcastle United have experienced new highs since the arrival of their Saudi-led owners and manager Eddie Howe, with a Carabao Cup final and positive run in the Champions League already under their belts.

This success has been heavily contributed by not only Howe’s tactical genius but also the outstanding recruitment of players like Bruno Guimaraes, Sven Botman, Alexander Isak and Kieran Trippier to name a few over the last two years.

After securing a top-four finish in the Premier League and, as a result, qualifying for the Champions League last season, this summer’s recruitment drive was focused on adding star quality to the midfield depth which ultimately led to the signing of Tonali.

The Italy international and last season’s Champions League semi-finalist with AC Milan was a no-brainer signing for the Magpies and supporters were ecstatic when Tonali put pen to paper signing a five-year deal to become an honorary Geordie on Tyneside until 2028 for a cool £55m.

Whilst Tonali has been influential on the pitch and has been building meaningful connections with his teammates at St James’ Park, off the pitch things have unravelled fast for the 23-year-old as it came to light that he had participated in gambling whilst play in Italy and has been investigated over the last few weeks.

Now popular North East journalist Keith Downie has told Sky Sports News that it is expected that Tonali will be given a 10-month ban, meaning he will miss the rest of his debut season with Newcastle and the Euros next summer with Italy.

Downie revealed:

“Our information from our colleagues over at Sky Italy is that talks are centring over a 10-month ban for Tonali,”

“If confirmed in the next 48 hours as I say that we imagine it will be, means Tonali will miss the rest of the football season and the Euros for Italy next June as well.”

“It looks as though a lengthy ban is coming Tonali’s way.”

Will Sandro Tonali start play against Borussia Dortmund?

It is currently considered doubtful that Tonali will be featured in the Champions League Group Stage clash at St James’ Park on Wednesday night despite being involved in the 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace at the weekend.

The rumoured ban could be sanctioned at any time in the coming hours and days ahead, so it is unlikely that Howe will select the midfielder for the clash with Borussia Dortmund, ensuring that his team who will 100% be available moving forward are prioritised when it comes to getting used to football without Tonali for the rest of the season.

This will be a sticking point in the Newcastle hierarchy’s recruitment plans over the next two transfer windows ahead, and in January in will be interesting to see whether the club will look to add depth in the centre of the pitch to soften the blow of losing Tonali.

With that being said, the ongoing situation will definitely be one to watch when the winter transfer window opens in the new year and it will be interesting to see whether Howe and the club believe they have enough talent to get through the next ten months without Tonali.

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