Tonali’s lawyers set to discuss ‘plea bargain’; Newcastle star to learn his fate amid ‘four year ban’ fears

Lewis Oldham
Newcastle star Tonali
Newcastle United summer signing Sandro Tonali.

Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali could reportedly learn the length of his ban next week with his lawyers set to discuss a ‘plea bargain’.

Tonali is involved in the betting scandal which is currently impacting Italian football and he faces a lengthy ban after he ‘admitted to betting’ on AC Milan matches during his time with the Serie A giants.

Newcastle were ‘shocked and surprised’ after hearing this news as they were not aware of this issue when they paid £55m to sign him during the summer transfer window.

Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli was involved in the same investigation and he has been given a seven-month suspension. During a recent hearing involving Tonali, he ‘admitted to betting on matches – both in which he played and didn’t play – for Milan to win.’

Speaking before Newcastle – who have thrown away five points from winning positions this term – beat Crystal Palace 4-0 victory on Saturday, head coach Eddie Howe admitted the “hardest part is ahead” for Tonali.

“Let’s wait and see, but yes, I think the hardest part is ahead regardless of what happens.

“Immediately, you get a lot of attention and people are talking about the situation. He’s had the love of the supporters today, but that’s difficult to maintain over a long period of time. Who knows what’s ahead?

“I just think it’s great for him to know he’s got the support, not just of the senior management at the football club and the manager, but also the support of the supporters and they’re the most important people.”

Tonali was brought off the bench during this 4-0 win but he could soon be banned for a significant spell.

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Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia) claim ‘Tonali’s lawyers will be in Rome on Monday to negotiate a plea bargain for the Newcastle midfielder’. The report explains.

‘[Tonali used] the same defence strategy adopted by Nicolo Fagioli who has been banned for seven months after agreeing to a plea bargain with the FIGC Prosecutor.

‘However, Tonali’s situation is slightly different as Fagioli reported himself to FIGC as soon as the Turin Prosecutor put him under investigation earlier this year. Moreover, the Juventus midfielder hasn’t bet on the Bianconeri.

‘Breach of Article 24 leads to a suspension of at least four years but Tonali, like Fagioli, aims to – at least- halve the ban’s length.

‘Tonali’s lawyers will reportedly discuss the length of the midfielder’s suspension during a hearing with the FIGC Prosecutor in Rome on Monday. Previous reports had claimed Tonali could be banned for a year.

‘According to Gazzetta, Tonali and Newcastle could learn the ban’s length at the beginning of next week.’

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