- Midfielder under investigation for alleged betting breaches
- Italian international could face long ban
- Tonali’s legal team could seek plea bargain
The 15-times capped Italian is awaiting news of investigations into alleged betting offences, for which he could face a lengthy suspension..
Howe planning for Dortmund as if Tonali is available
Midfielder Tonali came on as a substitute in United’s 4-0 win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday. He signed for the Magpies from AC Milan in July for £55m
And Howe said that Tonali took part in training with the rest of the squad as Newcastle look to follow their impressive 4-1 victory against Paris St-Germain with another win.
“As far as I’m aware, I’m expecting him to be available tomorrow,” Howe said.
“I’ll plan like that until told differently.”
Earlier this month, Tonali and Aston Villa’s Nicolo Zaniolo left Italy’s training camp for Euro 2024 qualifiers after being told they were involved in an investigation.
Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli was given a seven-month suspension by the Italian Football Federation last Tuesday for breaching betting rules. He had five months of a one-year ban suspended and was fined 12,500 euros (£10,848). Fagioli also agreed to a therapy plan of at least six months to address his gambling problem.
Tonali legal team look to plea bargain
Tonali’s legal team are in discussions with Italian authorities over a 10-month ban after he admitted to placing bets on matches in which he played, according to Sky Italy.
Tonali has been assisting the investigation and his legal team have been working on a plea bargain after he admitted to making bets on AC Milan to win games in a hearing at the Italian Federation in Turin.
Without his cooperation, Tonali could face up to a three-year suspension under FIFA rules.
An agreement is understood to be close over the ban, which would see Tonali miss the rest of the Premier League season and Euro 2024, should Italy qualify.
Currently Newcastle are favourites to beat Dortmund and if Tonali is able to be involved it will obviously be a boost to the Magpies. At the time of writing bet365 have United at 8/13 to beat Dortmund with the Bundesliga side 4/1 and a draw 16/5.
Howe’s side are currently fifth favourites to win the Premier League and to finish in the top four. In the Champions League they are favourites to win Group F and are seventh favourites to win the competition. Bettors need to assess how much the loss of Tonali for the season will affect their chances.