🚨 Man City ace's "good chances" to leave as Newcastle look for Tonali replacement
Change of scenery for midfielder?
The January transfer window is still a couple of months away, but Newcastle United are likely to already be doing the groundwork behind the scenes to ensure they have a ready-made replacement in mind for Sandro Tonali if, as expected, he is banned from the game for alleged betting irregularities.
The midfielder should know his fate soon given that it’s understood he’s been completely co-operative with the authorities investigating the scandal that has enveloped Italian football.
Daily Briefing columnist, Fabrizio Romano, confirmed Newcastle’s intentions should Tonali receive a lengthy suspension.
“If Tonali is to be banned, the plan is to go for a new midfielder in January. The level of the player and details of the deal will depend also on Newcastle’s Champions League situation. We'll see if they will continue in the UCL or maybe the Europa League, and at that moment they will discuss and decide,” he said.
Any ban would be a bitter blow to the Magpies who would be shorn of one of their most creative players before the 2023/24 season has really got underway. Clearly, any potential replacement needs to be an experienced head and of a level where playing important Champions League/Europa League and Premier League games holds no fear whatsoever.
Newcastle are progressing nicely under Eddie Howe and the right recruitment in January could be the difference between them coping with Tonali’s potential absence or not. One player who could fit the bill is Manchester City’s out-of-favour England international, Kalvin Phillips.
Handed some much-needed minutes by Gareth Southgate in the recent Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy, Phillips will be acutely aware that being sat on the sidelines at City will do his candidacy for a squad place at the European Championship no favours whatsoever. To that end, a switch to St. James’ Park is likely to appeal.
Romano noted that whether it’s to Newcastle or elsewhere, Phillips could be on his way to a new club: “I'm not aware of direct contacts with Bayern as of today. Bayern want to sign that kind of player, a defensive midfielder, but there are no talks with Kalvin Phillips at this stage. Newcastle could be on the market for a new midfielder and are waiting for the Sandro Tonali situation to be clarified. I think Kalvin Phillips has good chances to leave in January in any case.”
One thing is clear. Should interested clubs be given any hint that Pep Guardiola will allow Phillips to leave in January, there will be a queue of suitors for his services.
Would Newcastle be the perfect destination for Kalvin Phillips? Should the Magpies be looking for a different profile of midfielder to replace Sandro Tonali? Let us know in the comments.