Watch as Newcastle United star Sandro Tonali arrives at St James’ Park - unlikely to start

Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Sandro Tonali is involved in Newcastle United’s matchday squad versus Crystal Palace.

Sandro Tonali has been named in Newcastle United’s matchday squad to take on Crystal Palace this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

A club statement from the Magpies on Wednesday confirmed Tonali is subject to an investigation by the Italian Prosecutor’s Office and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in relation to illegal betting activity.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Tonali withdrew from the Italy squad after the (FIGC) said he was “not in the necessary condition” to feature in Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and England.

The 23-year-old returned to Tyneside and trained in the build-up to Palace. It’s understood head coach Eddie Howe has opted to name Tonali, captured below arriving at St James’ Park, on the bench.

“Yeah he’s very much with us,” Howe said. “He’s trained twice with us this week. He’s very much available for selection. Like I do with all the players analysing their training performances, how they look and how they feel and Sandro has trained well with us.”

Howe added: “He’s had a very difficult couple of weeks - he’s been dealing with a lot. From what I can see he’s handling himself really well and dealing with his emotions incredibly strong. But underneath that, I’m sure there’s a lot going on. So I’l have to make a call.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“But always I have to bring it back to football. I have to bring it back to his training and try and make the best decision for the team.”

Tonali, who is battling a gambling addiction, is eligible to play for Newcastle whilst the investigation is ongoing. United are supporting the player.

“The most important part of all this is Sandro and his welfare. It’s very easy for people to forget how young he is and the changes he’s had in his life coming from Italy to England - that’s hard enough to deal with and now he has this situation.

“Straight away we threw our arms around him and protect him and try and give him the love and support that he needs to find solution to the problems he’s had, and that’s what we’re endeavouring to do with a lot of conversations and communication with him and his family.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s not just Sandro, it’s the people around him that are going to be so important to him as well. It’s been a big effort from us and I have to say he’s handled himself superbly well. Obviously emotional but he’s handled himself with respect and dignity.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.