Newcastle United’s £55 million acquisition, Sandro Tonali, is highly likely to miss the entirety of the 2023/24 season due to an impending ban as he awaits official news. Newcastle has identified four potential replacements for Sandro Tonali, who is currently facing the possibility of a ban from football.
Just a few months after his £55 million transfer from AC Milan in the summer, both the player and his club were thrown into turmoil as he became embroiled in a betting scandal. The 23-year-old Italian midfielder was subsequently removed from his national team, and he has since confessed to placing bets on matches during his time in Serie A. As things stand, Tonali is expected to be available when Newcastle faces Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday, regardless of whether his punishment is announced before kick-off. Nevertheless, it is highly likely that this will be his final appearance on the field for the 2023/24 season, with reports suggesting he is preparing for a ban of approximately 10-12 months.
Tonali’s absence will have a significant impact on Newcastle’s prospects, both in terms of their chances of winning trophies and their advancement in the Champions League. Consequently, the club has hastily revised their plans for the January transfer window, with the potential loan signing of Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips being discussed. Inews has reported that Phillips is open to the idea, as he had previously caught the attention of the northern club. A short-term move appears beneficial for all parties involved, given that Newcastle is one of the few clubs capable of matching City’s wage structure, and Phillips requires regular playing time in a season that concludes with Euro 2024.
However, it remains uncertain whether Pep Guardiola will approve a transfer to a team now considered a rival at the top of the table. Furthermore, Newcastle is exploring other options to fill the void left by Tonali. They continue to monitor Scott McTominay, who initially seemed likely to depart Manchester United during the summer but has seen his value to the club rise in recent weeks due to his impressive performances. McTominay even scored in matches against Brentford and Sheffield United and started in the Champions League clash with Copenhagen.
According to The Athletic, Steve Nickson, the head of recruitment at Newcastle, has also previously identified Fulham’s Joao Palhinha and Everton’s Amadou Onana as potential targets. Both players remained at their respective clubs in the last transfer window, despite interest from elsewhere.